Sunday, October 20, 2013

3 Common Triggers In Marriage: Fighting Fair

A couple fighting -- best done when they are doing it constructively... and fairly

When we take the time to listen to our spouse, repeating back to them (affirming) what they are telling us and showing we understand each other, great things can happen in our relationship... 

greater closeness 

deepened respect 

connecting as a team not as adversaries 

understanding another's view other than our own 

showing empathy toward one another 

and more... 

There are unfortunately things every couple find themselves fighting about at some point and always the typical triggers in every marriage. It's normal to argue as long as we are doing it in a healthy manner. 

These triggers/arguments tend to be what create small rifts between couples and what can over time if not adequately addressed lead to strife, resentment, distancing etc. 

No one wants to find themselves in that disappointing predicament down the road however much they are or are not to blame... have unwittingly or knowingly contributed. 

There are three commonly known triggers that we can all be aware of and thankfully with mutual continual conscious effort try to overcome! 

1. Sex

In many marriages there is a cat and mouse game in continual play. One spouse is the pursuer and the other is the pursued. This may be played out during the courtship time period and then later reflected sexually in the marriage. There's nothing really wrong with this but one aspect to consider... is it a pattern that's becoming an issue for one person? 

Is one person feeling continually rejected? If the answer is yes and there are genuinely hurt feelings the issue needs to be addressed. Equally important, is the other person tired? For example it may be challenging for one person to be excited about having sex if they are chronically exhausted... especially at the times the pursuer (it may the husband, or it may be the wife) is initiating it. If a wife is worn out at 9,10,11 pm at night and does not feel sexy... merely wants to crash and go to sleep then having sex at that time may not be feasible and lead to frustration on both sides, argument, hurt feelings, etc. Unfortunately it may lead the husband to feeling rejected when that's simply not his wife's true intention.

It's important for husbands and wives to have these honest conversations (as unsexy as they may be) and just be forthright in saying "In a perfect world I wish I had the energy at 11pm... but I just don't. All I want to do is sleep. But a lunch date at 1pm... or early morning... 5pm, etc... would be great!" 

We need to make sure we are having these honest conversations... because it's not that you're incompatible but your ----> timing <---- may certainly be!

One of the other issues for couples in marriage seems to be related to romance. When were dating everything is so deliciously unpredictable and unexpected... ... a caress with his hand on your cheek leads to a kiss which leads to a warm embrace. If we can remember back to when we dated and still try to implement some of those little things into our marriage instead of always (reject becoming stagnant) going through the motions of straight to the point robotic sex (wham, bam, thank you ma'am) it brightens the entire marriage including in the bedroom. We can remember that if our timing is better suited to 5pm... walking in the door and taking a few minutes to set the mood (candles, dimmers)... finding your spouse and merely initiating (not asking or commanding... but instead "shut up and kiss me") goes a long way in not just our physical connection but investing in our marriage long term.

2. Money

He/She who holds the purse strings has the power... and that's why money isn't really about money at all. It's about power and fear. Are you fearful of not having the sole power? Maybe. Are you fearful of not having any power? More than likely, heck yes, you are. This fear may undoubtedly (and understandably) be heightened if you're a stay home mom. 

Couples can alleviate this fear by realizing they have TWO choices: 

1. Let the person who manages the money best do it yet let their spouse have access to everything so they can review it on a continual basis. 


2. Manage the money/pay the bills together

No one wants to feel like they are in the dark and don't have a voice in the budget so to eradicate any fear of this it's vitally important that we have candid conversations with our spouse when it comes to money management.

There should be common goals you both stick to financially. One could be a minimum amount you both must commit to keep in your savings account at all times. This helps you reach your goal in saving toward retirement. Another could be if you can't agree on spending money on something whether it be a new house, a pricey vacation or remodel then it may be best to hold off for six months. It's okay to agree that you disagree and agree to revisit the issue later. 

3. Chores

Couples may squabble over who should do which chores and they may each believe they are doing more than the other spouse. Keeping score is a no win for both people. Creating and managing a home is not to be a source for marital battle yet it often becomes one. 

Instead of expecting each person to do x,y,z equally, perhaps it would be wiser to realize some chores are best done by the woman and some are best done by the man or aka whoever does them best. 

If a wife enjoys doing the dishes but a husband enjoys (or is more efficient) at tossing the laundry in to be washed... then allocating the jobs to the person who enjoys them or completes them well is likely best. When we are dating we enjoy spending time with each other and even doing the little projects together brings fun and closeness. Some of my favorite memories (in the very early married years) spent with my ex husband were projects around the house... painting together, doing laundry at the laundromat together, cooking together etc... it helps keep your relationship playful, alive and close. It's these things that deepen your bond while bringing a sense of accomplishment to your marriage. 

When we take the time to affirm our spouses view point, to acknowledge their frustrations, to contribute problem solving ideas and to speak affirming words that give life to our marriage... 

we not only enrich our sex life and our  money management but our home... 

knowing that fighting fair for our marriage, arguing it out, is incredibly worth it...

every day of our life. 

© ~ 2013

                   To My Readers: 

               Thank you for reading, 

             commenting and sharing! 

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