Challenge Day 3

Memorize this Compromising Template.

No matter how great you get at specifying your goal and presenting it, you won’t get anywhere if your wife is on a separate page. If you’re on separate pages, your intimacy will remain at a big fat ZERO. 

The second biggest problem my patients face is how to effectively deal with being on a separate page from their wife.  

Different pages come in many forms:

1-She doesn’t understand your need

2-She has a different need

3-She shuts down due to her own emotional issues

4-She attacks your idea due to her own emotional issues

The key point is to learn right now that your wife is not the enemy just because she is not on the same page as you.

Your page (your need, your wish, your idea etc)  is not the problem and your wife’s page (her need, her wish, her idea)  is not the problem.

The problem of being on separate pages is the problem.

Arguments erupt with “right or wrong” thinking. This is a relationship, not a courtroom, there is no right and wrong. We’re all adults with our own needs, opinions and viewpoints. Because we are all unique individuals, these often differ.  

Arguing about who’s right or wrong distracts from the problem and it will remain unresolved which threatens not only your intimacy but your entire relationship. 

Back to the analogy of the scales:  

The base and the arm = your relationship 

You and your wife = the pans

If you’re on separate pages then the base/arm has a problem, not you or your wife, because it’s throwing you both off course. In other words the PROBLEM is threatening you and your wife. 

If a major storm was threatening your town, then you’re both in jeopardy.  Arguing over whether it will strike at 10:00 pm or 2:00 am distracts you from solving the problem of how to prepare, no matter how “right or wrong” you both are. 

In addition to distracting arguments, Right and Wrong Thinking leads to these common relationship mistakes:

Caving

Taking over 

Taking off

Most people tend to make one of these mistakes most of the time. Write down your last three arguments- no matter what it was about- to discover which you tend to do.

So, if your wife is on a separate page in that she: 

1-doesn’t understand your need

2-has a different need

3-shuts down due to her own emotional issues

4-attacks your idea due to her own emotional issues

Those of you who cave will give up your need and disingenuously agree with your wife. “Yeah, she can’t deal with this and she’s right,  I shouldn’t have brought it up!”

Those who take over will criticize, attack or diminish your wife until she disingenuously agrees with you. “You never agree with me.  Something’s really wrong with you!”

Those of you who take off will throw your hands up “Forget it!” and storm off.

Figure out which of these mistakes you tend to make, so you can now rewrite the script.

Here’s some new ways of thinking to help with this task:

1- She doesn’t understand your need- There is nothing wrong with your wife asking you questions about your needs, don’t cave, take over or take off, answer her simply and calmly or say you’re not sure. 

2- She has a different need- She’s a separate person and so the chances are very high that she has different needs from you.  It doesn’t mean your needs are bad or wrong. But neither are hers.

3- She shuts down due to her own emotional issues- Some people get overwhelmed when they learn something new about their spouse.  This is usually due to their past or personality, not a bad reflection on you or your need.

4- She attacks your idea –  Some people feel threatened when they learn something new about their spouse (even if you used the non-threatening language from last challenge).  This is usually due to their past or personality, not a bad reflection on you or your need.

In sum, do not make it personal if your wife is on a separate page from you.  

Here is the Compromising Template to memorize today. 

We have a problem. I want X and you want Y. How can we resolve this?

Some examples. If she:

Doesn’t understand your need- then:

  • We have a problem. I’ve explained that have a need for more sex and you don’t seem to understand it.  How can we resolve this?

Has a different need-then:

  • We have a problem. I need more sex and you don’t. How can we resolve this?

Shuts down due to her own emotional issues-then:

  • We have a problem. I need to talk about increasing our sex life and you seem to have shut down. How can we resolve this?

Attacks your idea due to her personality – then:

  • We have a problem. I need to talk about increasing our sex life and you seem to be attacking me. How can we resolve this?

By avoiding the dangerous and pointless Right and Wrong Thinking and focusing on the PROBLEM you will be WORKING ON THE PROBLEM TOGETHER.  You’ll be making decisions together on preparations for the storm instead of bickering over pointless details. Working on a problem together, in broad terms, is another form of intimacy!

>> CHALLENGE CHECK-IN

Stay tuned tomorrow for Day 4 and don’t forget to catch up with us to share your DAY 3 Progress in our Facebook Group!   If you have any questions, or want to dive further into these topics, pick up the phone! We’re here for you – 757-340-8800!