Thank you. We got sooo much out of your workshop. Now it's a matter of us using and applying it.
I was hoping you can you help me with an on-going problem?
I will ask my spouse to take out the garbage and he says, "No Problem." 10 minutes later he still didn't do it. So I ask him again. And again he says no problem.
Now it's 30 minutes later and he's still futzing around with whatever. This seems to make me furious, and usually I'll grab the garbage and take it out myself.
At this point he will tell me I'm impatient and why couldn't I wait, which makes me even more furious. Usually the whole evening is shot.
What am I doing wrong?
It makes me feel like he doesn't care and that makes me feel he doesn't love me.
I know in your workshop I learned that I should tell him first that his behavior gets me upset, and then to tell him my visions - that he is thoughtful and considerate, and I know we will resolve this issue, and we have a great marriage.
But when I'm upset it is hard to do.
When is your next Marriage Enrichment course - we both want to continue. And is there anything else on a personal level. I love to grow, and I have some single friends, and even my Mom and her friends are always looking for good answers to their issues.
You're not doing anything wrong, but you are repeating your past patterns. We all do that until we realize that we are no longer willing to pay the cost.
Acquiring a new and effective habit takes a little time. So be patient with yourself.
Things that really get you upset may not be the right issues to start practicing with. Something that is not charged and allows you to keep your presence of mind is much better to practice with.
Or wait until the next day, sit down with him, knees to knees, hand in hand, eye to eye and tell him....
"We have a great marriage and when you don't respond to my request, like taking out the garbage, it makes me upset. You are a responsible, considerate person, and you always want to help. So I know we can figure out how to resolve the garbage thing. It's just an opportunity to strengthen our marriage."
Remember, your vision is where you want your relationship to move toward. So stop being a 'reporter', and become 'an inspiring spouse'. We all want people to think the best of us. If you do that for him he will want to aspire to that. That's certain in 99% of the cases.
Telling someone they are not helpful, lazy, inconsiderate, although perhaps technically correct, will only re-enforce that behavior. Think about how you feel when people criticize you - even if they're right.
Making your marriage the thing that is most important, rather than the issue at hand creates a totally new 'perspective'. It allows you and him to look at what is going on from the outside and rise above it, rather than being stuck in the middle and become overwhelmed with a petty issue.
Our next workshop starts March 18th. Thanks for asking. I would love to see both of you there.
And we do have an ON-GOING series called Conversations. It is for people of any age, marital status, income, etc. It is a dialogue that allows people to focus on their most important challenge at hand, and become effective in that area.
Conversations is scheduled for one day time and one evening session each week. Just e-mail us for dates, times and location.
The series is FREE, and we only request a donation to cover costs. So money doesn't have to become an issue.
REMEMBER - we are not taught how to have a successful marriage. It is all trial and error, and we have another person paying the price. Of course the same holds true for them and we pay the price.
Your decision to invest a small amount of time into the most important relationship in your life shows a lot of wisdom.
And it will be a wonderful gift to your children, as they watch you and your spouse become effective partners, falling more and more in love with each other.