Monday, February 10, 2014

Marriage Monday - When Problems Arise, How Do You Handle Them?

We ALL have those days - where you wake up and it seems your whole world has fallen apart.  Or, you wake up - and one thing after another goes wrong.  PROBLEMS ARISE!  It is inevitable that any kind of problem pops up in your day-to-day life.  Some are small, some are big, and some are life-changing!  I guess the problem isn't "What IF a problem occurs?"  More like "When a problem occurs, how am I/we going to handle it?"  <--- The answer to that question (and you will have many throughout life) will be one of the most important things that you figure out because ultimately, your reactions and actions will determine the outcome.

I have a friend that is a counselor and he posted one day with the question that was something like "When faced with a problem, how do you handle it?  Put these in the order that you deal with problems.  a) act, t) think, and f) feel."  He had worded differently and my order gave me  My order was bad.  My order was wrong.  My order was:  I feel, act, and then I think.  Whoa!  We better sit down for a minute.  That order is SOOOO wrong that it became clear at that very moment that I needed to change the way that I react to problems. 

We should really try to think things through first.  Then react.  Then feel.  Otherwise, you are going to create a world of a mess for you and your family.  For example, you and your spouse get into an argument.  Your spouse says something that isn't very nice.  Of course then we are feeling the hurt and anger so, most of the time, we want to lash out and hurt them we act with something negative and hurtful.  Then after it is all said and done, we sit down and think about the horrible things that we said.  Yes, I hang my head down in shame because that is the way that I used to do things and, every now and then, I fall in the same trap.  I am a work in progress. 

Now, let's take a look if we do things differently:  You and your spouse get into an argument.  Your spouse say something that isn't very nice.  You think about the situation and realize that your spouse is angry and is probably just saying hurtful things out of spite.  So you thought about the situation briefly and you are not going to hurt your spouse in return.  Instead, you are going to act with a calm manner and try to diffuse the situation in finding a reasonable solution without hurting anyone in the process.  Then you are going to feel GOOD.  Why?  Because, more chances than not, your spouse will cool down, you will have acted humbly and NOT prideful, and your spouse will be apologizing to YOU for their actions and most likely, you both will be calm enough to figure out the right solution to your problem. 

Don't worry if you mess up.  Just keep pushing through and keep trying to think before you do anything else.  We all get our buttons pushed from time to time, but just putting forth the effort will make a big difference. 

Remember, you and your spouse ARE on the same team.  When one of you "wins" the argument, you both really lose!

Now the question is, how do you react when problems arise?


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