hurdles that appear along the way.There are several things that come into play with overcoming issues that may ariseover time. The ﬁrst general rule is to agree to disagree. This means overlooksmaller issues that are certainly not something that qualiﬁes as a strain on amarriage, such as dirty towels left on the bathroom ﬂoor, toilet paper being put onthe “wrong way”, and dirty dishes being placed in the sink rather than in thedishwasher. On the other hand, disagreeing on the bigger issues, such as spendingmoney, inﬁdelity, and household responsibilities (who is going to do the laundry,the dishes, and the cleaning) can lead to living a life that is undesirable.
Setting The Stage To Discuss The Tough Problems
When it feels like a marriage is ending, and both spouses are willing to talk aboutthe changes needed to create a better future, there are several things to do to makean honest attempt to repair the damage and hurt feelings. It is not easy to do, butsometimes it is imperative to set aside your own wants and needs to satisfy that of your spouse.•
Set a speciﬁc time to discuss the issue
, in a mutually agreedupon time and place where both spouses are comfortable. This time shouldbe uninterrupted by other people and things, such as cell phones, televisions,and stereo.•
Express your opinions honestly and respectfully
. Your goalis to come up with solutions to your problems without “bashing” the otherperson or trying to win a battle. This is not the time to prove your spousewrong, but simply to be speciﬁc about your thoughts and to discuss theissues. You should work towards the end result being something you bothcan agree on, without feeling punished. You should use “I” statements,instead of “You” statements which can may times put your spouse on thedefence. For instance, instead of saying, “You always go shopping and rackup a lot of credit card debt,” you could say, “I realise you like to goshopping, but we need to agree on how much money can be spent permonth.”