I find that I can become easily upset with my husband when he does not do something the way I prefer it to be done, or in the time frame that I was expecting. When we get into conflicts about the little stuff, I am reminded to take a set back and re-evaluate why things are upsetting me. The key is the terms “my way” and “my time frame”. I have to check myself and bluntly realize that I am the one with the problem. I also have to remember that my husband is my partner in life, and I am not his boss.
Once I stop to evaluate the situation and why it upsets me, then I can have a reasonable discussion with my spouse about things that are upsetting me. It is important to realize that my reasons are often selfish, and I need to explain to my husband why it is important to me.
I am comfortable in a world of order. In my world everything has a place and should be tidy. But in my husband’s world, things do not have to be so organized. He finds a way to use our things and enjoy life. The little things do not get to him. So we have to find a way to meet in the middle. I find that some of my emotions stem from being jealous of his ability to not allow the little things to bother him.
Some important tips to deal with conflict in a relationship that I have to review often include:
By taking a closer look at the frustrations in your relationship, you will find that you can be much happier with yourself and your relationship.
April is national handwritten letter month. This is a skill that seems to have dissipated as technology has taken over. Cursive handwriting has been removed from many school curriculums as an outdated and unnecessary skill. Perhaps it is time to make it popular again. As Ronald Regan recently passed, his love letters to his wife, Nancy were one of her most cherished possessions.
In this era, a handwritten letter is particularly special. First, someone took the time to purchase paper, sit down with a pen and write their thoughts and feelings down, purchase a stamp and go to a mailbox or post office to send it. These letters take more time and personal attention then composing an email or text message. Furthermore, remember the excitement you get when you receive a card or letter in the mail. It is so nice to have personal mail that is not a bill or advertisement. Letters can be saved and enjoyed over and over again in the future. Often they are cherished from loved ones that have passed away.
Letters can be used to let someone know you are thinking about them, thankful for a gift or good deed, to encourage them or to update on significant life events. Even more you can add photos, cartoons or jokes to make them extra special. Handwritten letters can be included in home-made cards that enable you to express your creative side.
We have many holidays and events coming up that are good reasons to sit down an put pen to paper. Consider Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduations, weddings, births and reconnecting with friends you have not talk to for a while. Take the time to compose a letter to let someone know just how special they are to you.
We spend a lot of time at work and want to make it as enjoyable as possible. But when our co-workers are difficult, this can be a challenge. Below are some of the personalities you may encounter at work, as well as tips on how to deal with them:
These folks love to talk and dish the dirt, and what they say is usually quite interesting. But gossip can lead to hurt feelings and groups of co-workers that don't get along. If someone tries to engage you in gossip, find a way to end the conversation. You can pretend you have something urgent to do, change the subject, or flat out tell them you're not interested in what they have to say. Another option is to only talk to them about positive things and bring these up constantly.
I must admit, I fall into this category. These are people who are angry but not comfortable in expressing the emotion. Instead they do things, OR FAIL TO DO THINGS, that cause problems at work. It's their way of getting back. The best approach to shut this type of behavior down is to set very clear expectations and write them out. Be sure you eliminate all loopholes so they have no way to sabotage.
These tend to be men, but sometimes women display the personality type as well. Angry folks get upset over trivial things and tend to yell a lot. They may also slam doors or storm out of the office. They do this to get their way. It can be difficult to deal with this type of personality. The best approach is to firmly explain that you are not going to accept this type of behavior. Refuse to talk to them until they have calmed down. DO NOT give in as this is what they want you to do.
These folks need constant attention and praise and don't do well with criticism AT ALL. They may come across as self-assured but deep down they are very insecure. The best way to work with them is to give praise freely but only when deserved. When you need to change their behavior you have to frame it in such a way that it feels like it's helping them to change.
Hopefully this helps!
I recently spent a lot of time at home nursing an injury. Perhaps I may have watched too many Hallmark movies during that downtime. But I have also observed several friends troubled relationships. I am by no means perfect, but I feel my husband and I have a good marriage. It has problems, but we openly and honestly communicate our feelings with each other. We are partners in our marriage and I think that has been the reason for our success.
The first thing that is essential to understand is that no one likes to be “bossed around” or “told what to do”. I will admit, I was guilty of this. My husband adamantly protested this and I had to learn another way to communicate my needs to him. If you treat your husband like a subordinate, they will resist everything you want them to do. Instead, share with them what you think is important to get done for the day. Be fair with them. Do not ask them to do anything you are not willing to do yourself. Give them options. Let them do what you asked their way. Let them do it on their own time schedule. Ask them to help you rather than commanding them to do something.
Do not forget the gratitude. My husband wants a parade when he takes the initiative to unload the dishwasher. He will point out to me several times that he unloaded the dishwasher. I used to get very upset about it. He unloaded the dishwasher maybe once to my 10 times on top of the million other household chores that I did and I would point that out to him. Then he would stop unloading it at all because I never gave him credit for it, so why bother. I learned that noticing and acknowledging the things he does and giving him gratitude for helping, even when minor in my book gave him the appreciation he needed to feel helpful. Back to basics with please and thank you and be genuine about it.
When there is conflict, communicate fairly! It is important to sit down with your partner and have an open and honest conversation with them about what your needs are. Do not bring up the past. Do not accuse. Use phrases like “I feel …”, “When you do this action, I feel…”, “What I need right now is…”, “Will you please help me with…”, “This action upsets me. How can we change it?” Allow your partner to communicate without interrupting them. Their feelings are just as important as yours. Remember that you need to compromise, this is a relationship, not a dictatorship.
Plan activities together. You developed your relationship on dating and doing activities together. It is still good to have a couple of activities that you do apart, but make sure you have just as many together. If you are not spending quality time together you will grow apart. If you find you have been neglecting this area, pick a date night once a week. Take turns planning the evening and never turn down your partner’s planned evening. Keep an open mind and find a way to enjoy yourself and your company.
Fall in love again!
Everyone could use a little adventure! Take a break from you routine and try something new. I came across this plan the other day. I would advise to do it in a safe section of a metropolitan area to have the best results. However, you can also consider a country drive with a packed picnic basket for a different kind of adventure. Give it a try and keep an open mind!
Are you a "glass is half full" type of person? I try to be, but I'll admit that it's easy to get sucked in by the "half empty" personalities. They're all around us, and they can zap the fun out of any situation. Before you know it, you'll be feeding off of each other and griping all day long!
So what should we do?
The obvious first step is to try to avoid the negativity. We all have people in our lives who have certain topics that they continuously gripe about, so try to avoid those topics. If a Negative Nelly starts in on her favorite grumpy topic, direct the conversation to more neutral subjects or things that the person enjoys.
If that doesn't work and you truly care about the person, you can try putting yourself in her shoes; if her complaints are justified, express empathy and maybe make a few suggestions on how she can improve her situation. Keep in mind, though, that Debbie Downers probably won't want to hear your opinion. They are too far entrenched in their victim mentality and have lost all self-awareness and don't want to entertain any views other than their own. They just want an audience. Even worse, they often don't take an interest in you---it's a completely one-sided relationship in which they drone on and on and on about all of the rotten things that the world inflicted on them, and never have time for you unless you're complaining as well.
If you want to salvage the relationship, you can try to be blunt and point out the constant negativity. Let the person know (nicely) that you are very aware of her complaints and you have nothing new to add to the topic and would like to discuss something else.
If that doesn't work, you simply have to limit all contact. Why spend your valuable time with someone so toxic?
I know everyone goes through rough times and needs to vent. That's normal. And some situations never change, so the complaints are probably well-founded. But if that is ALL someone focuses on, it can be very draining and a huge waste of time. Life is way too short!!
As Valentine’s Day nears, everyone in a relationship scrambles to buy something to show their love on this mandated day of the year. Those of you living in Ohio may also purchase an obligatory gift for Sweetest Day in the fall. I urge you to not forget the remaining days in between. There are many ways to give gifts in a relationship.
Gift of being present-genuinely be present. Put your electronics away. Focus on each other. Make eye contact. Communicate with each other.
Gift of partnership-marriage is a partnership. Try to see things from each other’s point of view, make lists of common goals and work on them together. Be sensitive and supportive of each other’s needs.
Gift of respect-You may disagree with each other, but remember that everyone is entitled to their opinion and feelings and you should respect them.
Gift of compromise-you may each have a different thought or expectation. Have a civil discussion and negotiate a compromise that is agreeable to both of you.
Gift of trust-be open and honest with your partner. Have nothing to hide. Be completely open with your partner without restrictions. Don’t keep secrets or have private conversations that would make the other suspicious.
Gift of freedom-as much as we love spending time with each other, partners need space to do things with their friends or their own hobbies. Allow that personal time apart and appreciate the time you do have together.
Gift of helpfulness-give each other a break when you can. Help them out with the chores they typically do, especially if they are not feeling well or are having a stressful week.
Gift of frugality-sometimes spending in a marriage can be off balance. Often one sacrifices while the other spends. Work together on a budget and monthly allowance that is fair to both of you.
Gift of sexuality-sometimes when you have been in a long term relationship, you fall into routines and often sexual activity gets pushed aside. Most often, even if you are not in the mood, engaging in sexual activity with your partner results in a good experience for both of you.
Physical gifts-thoughtful gifts are wonderful in a relationship. They should not be given out of obligation or an expectation, but because you really felt the item your purchased would make your partner happy.
I’m sure if there is a man in your life, I don’t have to tell you that it’s football season! We schedule our entire life around football games. We don’t even think of taking a vacation that may conflict with the timing of a game or make plans for family or friend events during the timing of a game. In my world, watching a recorded game is not the same as watching it live.
If the man in your life is anything like mine, there are several ways to handle football season. First, you can join him. My husband and I are season ticket holders for his college alma mater. I realized that if I wanted to spend any time with my husband on the weekends during football season that I had to compromise and join him. For the most part, I have lots of fun tailgating with the regulars and meeting the new visitors. We come up with some elaborate feasts for our tailgates and new drinks to try to keep it interesting. The games aren’t so bad to watch either; in fact, the more you watch the more you learn and appreciate the sport. Usually the weather is pretty tolerable too. I enjoy being outdoors and curling up under a blanket with a cup of hot chocolate. I also have a great supply of hot hands and feet to keep me toasty. The other perk is that I get to shop for team attire and my husband never objects to the amount of money I spend as long as it has his football team logo on it! We also spend Sunday afternoons watching his favorite NFL team play. I make us fun appetizers and we try new beers together. We have traveled to many local away games together as well. I’ve come to enjoy the mini-vacations to the cities we travel to see our team play.
If you can’t get yourself to appreciate any aspect of football, take the time to take up a hobby or interest of your own. Research shows that time apart is healthy for a marriage. Time together sharing common interests is also very important. But if you’re not a fan of football, you’ll be much happier than begrudgingly becoming a couch potato for four hours or more for something that doesn’t interest you. Allow the man in your life his football freedom time. This is a great time to go to the gym, get a mani/pedi, go to a local event like a craft show, take a class, craft, read a book, see a movie, shop, meet up with girlfriends, take a bubble bath or a nap, or spend time with your pet that doesn’t appreciate all of the shouting at the tv! There are a hundreds of options to choose your moment of happiness.
Whether you are a football fan or not, there are plenty of ways to keep everyone happy and enjoy this season! Remember that it’s ok to spend time apart when interests are not the same and it’s great to spend quality time together when you both find a way to enjoy it.
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