Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tip #19: Ideas for Building Successful Relationships



Wait for an opportune time to discuss issues.

This was a really hard lesson for me to learn. In fact, I still haven't fully learned it. (I figure that writing about it will help me internalize it a little better.)

You see, I believe in authentic communication. I believe in telling others how I feel, when I feel it.

However, I'm slowly starting to realize that I can tell others how I feel in more or less strategic ways.

Case in point: If Matt repeatedly presses the snooze button and then can't take the dog out for a run before work (like we've agreed to), it makes no sense for me to vent my frustration in that moment. He's already late for work. Even if the conversation goes my way, Matt still won't be able to take the dog out. What's the point of getting into a messy, adversarial discussion?

In fact, why do I even need to vent my frustration if it happens once?

If it happens repeatedly and I feel like it's a problem we should address, then it makes sense to wait until we are in a relaxed place. Neither of us is in a relaxed place as Matt is rushing out the door.

It sounds so simple as I'm saying it now, but I swear it feels much more complex in the moment! In the moment, I'm frustrated that he's not holding up his end of the bargain, and I feel obligated to point it out. (And even though I'm using an example of how Matt makes me angry, there are plenty of examples of it happening the other way around!).

I'm slowly realizing, though, that the conversations go much, much better if we talk about it at a later time. If we come back to it later, it's easier to look at the situation as a conversation to have rather than an angry fight to win.

Sometimes, after I save the issue for later, I realize I don't even need to bring it up. I'm over it (which reminds me of my friend Camella's advice that Matt put into our pre-wedding video).


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5 comments:

Cupcake Wedding said...

This is great advice. Thank you. I have been researching conflict resolution lately, so this really helps.

We used to argue over little things (dishes, tiolet sit up, undone chores) all the time, to the point where I wondered if being madly in love wasn't enough.

Then I read somewhere that marriage is about forgiving 1000 times and then to keep forgiving.

When you put it all in prespective it seems so easy, even if it isn't during the heat of the moment.

Brittany said...

Thanks for the advice! Love this post.

k80 said...

I have learned that lesson, too. Men and women and how they communicate are so different. So much finesse is required! lol...but it's all good!

Natasha said...

I always feel that its easier to put my feelings into the correct words if we talk about it a little while later.
And you're right about sometimes a thing will seem less important later too and you realize you can just let it go if you want to.
But, the one thing I had to learn was to actually voice my feelings, (seems you have that covered ;-), and to not let it fester either.

It's amazing how a good relationship can make everything else easier, learning how to communicate, conflict resolution, etc. :-)

Bessie said...

Great post and I definitely agree. It's important to have conversations like this when neither person is feeling emotional about it. My husband and I have found it leads to messier, unconstructive fights.

Thanks for writing these tips - it's really nice to hear personal anecdotes from someone else in a newer marriage.

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