“The Essential Guide to a Lasting Marriage”  
One good turn  deserves another, or does it?

This material is taken from my most recent book   “The Essential Guide to a Lasting Marriage” published by Alpha press.  In my next three posts for this week I am going to share some of material that is in the book.  If you are interested the book it can be purchased on Amazon.

*Note when I refer to Marriage I am also talking about long term relationships.

Couples think that if you do something nice for your partner they own you a favor back.  This kind of keeping score never works.  Each situation should be seen as being independent.  In my book “The Essential Guide to a Lasting Marriage:  I talk about how a husband, Todd bought his wife a luxury car and in exchange he wanted his wife, Susan to allow his college roommate and their family to stay with them over the weekend.  On the face of this, Todd’s expectation sounds reasonable, but let’s dig a little deeper.

It turns out that Susan was feeling ill and her kids were also sick and so she was uncomfortable having house guests that weekend.  When Todd, combined his generous gift of the car with his expectation of Susan, the situation became an impossible to deal with.  Todd and Susan learned, during counseling, each situation is a separate issue. When things are taken one issue at a time it is possible to work out something that is acceptable to both of partners.  On the one hand, Susan needed to be appreciative of Todd’s wonderful gesture and on the other hand Todd needed to be sensitive to Susan’s situation.  Todd needed to realize that she was not ungrateful, but circumstances beyond her control made her unable to be response to his needs.  Susan by making alternative suggestions like having his old roommate stay another week end or by Susan explaining to the other couple the situation and finding a local hotel and offering to have dinner (which if she were sick she could have catered) would be sensitive to that situation.

The key here is that each situation or argument has the best chance of being resolved if is not combined with other things but dealt with as a separate entity.


My last entry for this week will be:

Six Steps to Handling Conflict Well

(That really works)



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