Learn How to Rethink to Solve Your Same Arguments Eliminate the, "I’m right, your wrong" arguments in your marriage with these 2 simple tips. BY DR. NOELLE NELSON
Make your spouse part of the decision-making process and they'll be more likely to follow through.
“ People are much more likely to actually implement or follow through on decisions when they actively participate in the decision-making process.”
You're busily vacuuming the house, determined to get your chores done this morning so you can enjoy a restful Sunday afternoon. You smile as you hear the sound of water running in the kitchen: your husband doing his end of the chores, kitchen clean-up. You work your way down the stairs into the front hall—and frown.
Why is the TV on? The kids are at soccer practice—one of them must have left it on this morning. You turn off the vacuum, go in to the living room, and stop short, for there on the living room couch sits your supposedly kitchen-cleaning husband, the dishrag dangling from his limp fingers, mouth agape, staring at the TV as if some monumental world event were unfolding before his very eyes.
You groan. the game. He's watching the game. It doesn't matter what day, hour or year, there's always the game that must be watched. You put on your most determined expression, march yourself over to the TV and shut it off.
"What did you do that for!" your husband exclaims, aghast.
"You said you'd clean the kitchen this morning," you reply righteously.
"And I was, I am. I just stepped in here for a moment," he counters, reaching for the remote.
"Yeah, right," you say, "and you know what's gonna happen? You know who's going to end up cleaning the kitchen. Me! And there goes my Sunday afternoon! Well I'm sick and tired of it, you don't care about me at all, all you care about is your stupid old Game!" you cry out, bursting into tears, running off to shut yourself in the bathroom.
Your husband drags himself over to the bathroom and says through the closed door, "You know that's not true, do we have to have this argument again? I'm just checking the score. I'll get the kitchen done, quit crying for @#$ sake, jeez."
Somewhat mollified, you dry your tears and go back to your vacuuming. However, you can hear your husband complaining under his breath, and you know all too well how the afternoon is going to play out. You'll be disconnected from each other, each sitting in your own stew, and miss out on the lovely Sunday you could have enjoyed together.
What to do? You are right, and he is wrong. You'd agreed that the chores would get done and they're not getting done. You can't very well let him get away with that.
Perhaps not, but you can rethink the situation so you are both right, both happy, and both doing chores. The problem isn't in your husband's watching the game, even though that's where you're fixated. You think, "If the game just disappeared, none of this would happen—we'd both just do are chores and then have an enjoyable afternoon together." All you consider are ways to get rid of the game, or ways to get your husband to quit watching it. You are severely limiting your problem-solving abilities by restricting yourself to only one possible solution: "Eliminate the game."
Instead, take the larger view.
1. Challenge yourself to think creatively. Challenge yourself to think about, "How could the game, my husband, the chores getting done, and I all exist happily in the same moment?" Now you can come up with creative ideas. Now you can brainstorm creative solutions.
2. Involve your husband in the decision-making process. People are much more likely to actually implement or follow through on decisions when they actively participate in the decision-making process. Ask him, "Honey, how can we get all our chores done Sunday morning, with you being able to watch the game as well?" Each of you write down all the ideas you can come up with to make this happen.
For example, you might write down, "Husband does the vacuuming and all dusting in the living room and related areas, while watching the game." He might write down, "Get tablet connected so I can watch the game while doing kitchen-duty." Figure out between the two of you what is the best way for both of you to get what you want.
Getting stuck on "I'm right" and "This is the way to do things" doesn't work in a relationship. Instead, take the larger view and work together so your marriage can be the joy it was always meant to be.
Noelle C. Nelson, Ph.D., is a relationship expert, popular speaker in the U.S. and abroad, and author of nine best-selling books, including "Your Man is Wonderful" and "Dangerous Relationships." Dr. Nelson focuses on how we can all enjoy happy, fulfilling lives while accomplishing great things in love, at home and at work, as we appreciate ourselves, our world and all others. For more, visit www.noellenelson.com and follow her on Twitter @DrNoelleNelson and Google+.