We are now going to counseling once a month and I just wanted to share with you about what we learned in our last session. (Some of you were wondering if we had just stopped going...NO!) I want to take a moment before I begin and tell you how much your comments ( on here, facebook and emails) have meant to me about our counseling. I have even had several ask where we go and you are now going yourself...all I can say is...AMEN!!! I have to admit I was a little hesitant to post about this subject at first, but after hearing from all of you...I know it was definitely the right choice. It has been so fruitful for Matt and I's marriage to do this...we should have went a long time ago!! But our pride got in the way...
Anyway...in this session we talked about the different types of Arguing. He gave us four different styles and said that if couples continue to argue like this most of them end up in divorce...after these I will give you ways to resolve conflict. Please understand these are not from my lips...and I don't pretend to be a counselor...I just want to save as many marriages I can in order to Glorify God and beat Satan up! Matt and I both have identified the way we each react to an argument but I will just let you wonder...gotta keep some things private...:)
1. Escalation: Emotion intensifies and escalates as we discover you won't agree with me.
2. Invalidation: They devalue what their partner is saying. They invalidate the messenger if they don't like what they are saying or disagree with what they say. Discredit the messenger...
3. Negative Interpretation: Your spouse says something and you interpret it in a negative light. It's like you are wearing a "negative" lens when they say anything to you....you spin it negative on them.
4. Withdraw/avoid: You simply avoid conflict...will walk away...ignore...not address there is an issue.
Useful ways to resolve conflict:
1. Call a time-out: before it gets out of control. Interrupt the conflict before it escalates...whoever calls the time out has to come back and initiate the conversation with the other and let the other go first.
2. Assume they are not deliberately trying to hurt you. Remember You don't need to hurt the messenger to disagree with message.
3. Look at things in a positive way, assume their intentions are good...not bad. They love you.
4. Make a vow that you will not "avoid" the conflict. It can't happen. If you need a time out...again...you have to come back to them later no matter what.
These are just a few helpful hints...there is so much more I could say...but I just want to keep it simple as to not bore you! :) Ask yourself...how do I react to conflict and try to work on whichever one you seem to use in an argument with your spouse. I know it has made a huge difference with our relationship these past few months. If I can pray for you and your spouse please let me know.