Yesterday we took a quiz to see who was in a state of gridlock in their relationship. I promised you even if you were very gridlock you could move past stuck and heavy, to place that was light and loving.
The real reason you are locking horns with your man is because of what you are thinking.
I gave you a pointer:
Quit thinking the unsolvable problem is fatal. Nothing is wrong. There are ticks in the woods. Allergies in spring. Thorns on roses. Unsolvable problems in marriage. This is reflective of the fallen world we live in.
Next, recognize that underneath gridlock are two hidden dreams that you and he are likely not talking about. Moving from gridlock to dialogue about these dreams is key.
For example, Sarah is constantly fighting with her husband Todd about where to eat lunch after church on Sunday. Eat out or at home? When it comes up, Sarah feels entrenched.
In this situation, eating out has symbolic value. She feels loved and cared for when she does not have to plan, cook, and wash dishes. Sunday is a day of rest in her mind. Her family always ate out on Sundays growing up. It’s the way it should be. When Todd does not want to eat out she is thinking Todd is being unloving.
For Todd, a meal out costs money. He resists it because he values money in the bank and it seems more economical to eat at home. He is fighting for security, thinking she is being lazy wanting to go out. Sarah and Todd bicker and resist one another on this subject. They are gridlock.
Another couple may have similar competing priorities but do not become entrenched in it. They can still be affectionate and have a loving sense of humor around it. The difference is, they understand the other has equally valid and legitimate reasons for wanting what they want. They do not wish for their partner to appease them only to resent them for it later.
When we dialogue about an unsolvable problem without becoming gridlock, we are turning toward our partner which is gold. Notice though, talking about the unsolvable problem and hidden dreams is not a covert attempt to resolve the problem or win the other person to your way of thinking. (If it were, the result would be gridlock.)
The work you get to do in marital conflict is cleaning out the closet of your mind. You become aware of what thoughts are driving your interactions and if those thoughts are serving you.
Maybe he wants to be in much closer contact with his family than you prefer. Maybe he wants 7 kids and you only want 1. Maybe he likes to stay home on Friday nights and you love going out.
You and he both have dreams in this life you share. There is a story worth hearing behind each of your platforms. If you are gridlock, you are thinking that he is not honoring you and he thinks you are not honoring him.
When we move past gridlock and commit to turn toward our husband in an honest and loving way, we do not insist on our way or attempt to manipulate him into giving up his desires. We no longer believe that one of us has to sacrifice their dreams.
Committing to the process of turning toward, making decisions with mutual respect for your husband and acknowledging both of your aspirations is how you alter your reaction to Unsolvable Problems.
Be patient, have faith and stay committed. The issue does not have to be a death sentence. You can still love each other and have a sense of humor about your differences.