“Hey, hon, we need to talk!”
Harmless statement but whenever Bob would hear those words spoken by Yvonne he would have a war-time military expression ? ” Incoming! Incoming!” ? and make a major sprint to the nearest closet. Well, not quite like that, but you get the idea. He was running for cover because he assumed something must be wrong. Fortunately, that was not always true.
In any marriage there are topics, and some of them tough, which need to be discussed. That is a given. When they need to be discussed, a spouse should always be free to say, “Hey hon, we need to talk”. Ignoring or running from those tough topics, whether it is an issue concerning money, the kids, or your relationship, is self defeating as it creates a chasm between you. To keep that from happening you need to come together and have a talk session putting into action the following guidelines.
Talk Session Guidelines
1. Develop A Regular Airing Time
If you do not have a regular time to talk, tension builds, bickering starts and then possibly an explosion follows. Instead of spending time repairing the damage after the explosion, set up a time, at least once a week, which is set aside to discuss problems. Make sure that time is distraction free and you both are well rested. It is important that you two be in agreement and disciplined to consistently set that time aside.
2. Watch Your Attitude
Be careful that you do not come to your talk time with this attitude ? “This really is not a problem so I do not know why my mate is making such a big deal about it.” That attitude can be hurtful to your marriage.
Something we do to counter this is having an agreement between the two of us that if one thinks there is a problem than there is a problem. Since the two of us “have become one” we cannot shrug it off but instead we humble ourselves before the Lord ? and our mate ? and discuss it. The best way to maintain this attitude throughout your discussion is to pray together before anyone starts talking. Ask God to reveal to the two of you what would be the best choice for the relationship in this situation.
3. Focus On The Problem ? Not Each Other
Something we keep in mind is that we are not adversaries coming to discuss a problem . No, we are teammates. Then we can put our energies together to battle a problem, not each other. Oftentimes we have found that we have to remind ourselves of that fact during the discussion. Another thing is when you start talking, be careful not to rehash the past. Instead deal with the issue at hand. At another time you may have to go back and clean up past differences.
4. Watch What You Say
The old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me,” is so untrue. That is why it is so very important that we make sure that we do not use criticism, complaining, or cutting words as we discuss the issue. We have also tried to work on not using the emotionally charged words of “you never” or “you always”. The goal in the process of solving the problem is not to tear each other down but to build each other up. We base that on Ephesians 4: 29, which says ? “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
5. Listen To One Another
When your mate is talking, give them your full attention. Get rid of distractions. Let them speak without interrupting them. If you are more concerned and focused about what you want to get across, you will have a harder time understanding what your mate is saying.
6. Hang In There
The problem may not be solved in one round of a discussion, but if each knows the other wants this to be resolved in the most honorable way possible, you both will be encouraged to keep plugging along.
(And to be sure that?you?have?Peace With God we would like to encourage you to visit?www.billygraham.org?and then click on?Grow Your Faith?followed by clicking on?How To Know Jesus. You may want to share this link with family and friends.)