Marital Conferences (like school, but not)
What are you concerned about?
What do you wish? (would happen, would be the result)
What are you willing to do?
-done on an as needed basis.
-done before major blow-ups.
-done as frequently as daily to begin, then tapering off as the conflict(s) are resolved.
Realize that in conflict, the other person isn’t always ready to say “sorry” when you are.
Admit that what you are doing isn’t working. This probably means that you can’t fix it on your own. Just because my car won’t run and I can’t fix it doesn’t mean it can’t be fixed and isn’t worth fixing. It takes courage to admit you can’t fix it and seek help.
Keep in mind that you can only work on your side of the equation. Take ownership of that.
Be honest. Admit what you have contributed to the conflict.
Be in control of your response. When you lose control in anger, you give power to the other person.
Is your response appropriate? There are A-level conflicts – Example: the other person had an affair, physical abuse. There are B-level conflicts – Ex: the other person was intentionally hurtful verbally, spent $1000 clothes/tool shopping without consulting the other. There are C-level conflicts – Ex: forgot to take out the garbage, ate the last 4 cookies, left the toilet seat up.
-Don’t make a “C” a “B” or “B” an “A” in conflict (or the opposite direction to justify yourself).
-A-C is just an example, you might find A-D categorization better fits, but agree upon what goes where.
-Where things go might be different for different people. That’s OK. But if there is disagreement, the higher level should be accepted out of caution and courtesy.
-Not everything is an A or a B.
-Persistent violation at one level can move it into the next level.
-You don’t have to spell out every single scenario. A rough working framework is all that is needed so there can be healthy conversation.
Is the timing of your response appropriate? In the heat of the moment is often not the right time to correct or respond to the other. Even if it makes you feel better. Especially if it makes you feel better. This requires regular times where you both agree to talk things through. After supper. Before bed. Every 2nd Tuesday after the first full moon. It is important to know the other person well enough to know when to let it rest until the next meeting. Some things can be dealt with in the moment, they are generally those “C” level items.
The most important thing to do in blended families is to put your mate 1st. That is the case in any marriage, but ESPECIALLY in blended families. This presupposes Jesus as the ultimate #1.
-Allows for security in the relationship.
-You have to be on the same page on vision, values and discipline.
-You may need to sit down and establish these things.
(much of this wisdom in one form or another I have learned from Chip Ingram)