Matrimonial minefields -part one--track one--smmr

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Matrimonial Minefields: Subtle Ways Satan Seeks to Undermine Your Marriage: Part 1, B.J. Clarke

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<ul><li> 1. Matrimonial Minefields</li></ul><p> 2. Matrimonial MinefieldsMay Appear In Serene Settings 3. Satan Wants To Destroy Your Marriage! 4. MatrimonialMinefieldsConstant Conflict and Criticisms 5. EXERCISERelationship Dynamics ScaleUse the following 3-point scale to rate how often youand your mate or partner experience each situationdescribed: 1 = almost never or never, 2 = once in awhile, 3 = frequently.1. Little arguments escalate into ugly fights with accusations, criticisms, name-calling, or bringing up past hurts.2. My partner criticizes or belittles my opinions, feelings, or desires.3. My partner seems to view my words or actions more negatively than I mean them. 6. 4. When we have a problem to solve, it is like we are onopposite teams.5. I hold back from telling my partner what I really thinkand feel.6. I feel lonely in this relationship.7. When we argue, one of us withdrawsthat is, doesntwant to talk about it anymore or leaves the scene.Markman, Howard J.; Scott M. Stanley; Susan L. Blumberg (2010-03-18). Fighting for Your Marriage:A Deluxe Revised Edition of the Classic Best-seller for Enhancing Marriage and Preventing Divorce(p. 42). John Wiley and Sons. Kindle Edition. 7. Ted, a 34-year-old construction worker, and Wendy, 32, whoruns a catering business, had been married for 8 years. Likemany couples, their fights started over small issues:TED: (sarcastically) Youd think you could put the cap back on thetoothpaste.WENDY: (equally sarcastically) Oh, like you never forget to put itback.TED: As a matter of fact, I always put it back.WENDY: Oh, I forgot just how compulsive you are. You are right, ofcourse!TED: I dont even know why I stay with you. You are so negative.WENDY: Maybe you shouldnt stay. No one is barring the door.TED: Im not really sure why I do stay any more. 8. Sarcasm KillsDara is upset that Oliver has not been doing his partaround the house. When he suggests they keep a list ofhis chores on the refrigerator to help him remember, shesays, Do you think you work really well with lists?Next, Oliver tells her that he needs fifteen minutes torelax when he gets home before starting to do chores.So if I leave you alone for fifteen minutes, then you thinkyoull be motivated to jump up and do something? she askshim.Maybe. We havent tried it, have we? Oliver asks. 9. DARA: So you think thats the cure-all, to give you fifteenminutes? (sneering)OLIVER: No, I dont think thats the cure-all. I think,combined with writing up a list of weekly tasks that haveto get done. Why not put it on a calendar? Hey, Ill see itright then and there.DARA: Just like when I write stuff in your Day-Timer it getsdone? (mocking him; more contempt)OLIVER: I dont always have a chance to look at myDay-Timer during the day. (defensive)DARA: So you think youll look at a calendar, then? 10. OLIVER: Yeah. At any point in time, if Im not up tospeed, you should ask me about it. But when that happensnow, its not you asking, its you telling me, You haventdone this and you havent done that. Instead say, Is thereany reason why you havent done this or that? Like, I mean,when I stayed up and did your rsum that one night. Stufflike that happens all the time, and you just dont take thatinto account at all. (defensive)DARA: And I dont just all of a sudden do things for you,either? (defensive)OLIVER: No, you do. . . . I think you need to relax a littlebit.DARA (sarcastic): Hmm. Well, that sounds like we solved a lot.Gottman, John; Nan Silver (2002-02-04). The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work (pp.32-33). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition. 11. This sarcasm and cynicism are types of contempt.So are name-calling, eye-rolling, sneering, mockery, andhostile humor. In whatever form, contempt is poisonous to arelation-ship because it conveys disgust. Its virtually impossible to resolve a problem whenyour partner is getting the message youre disgustedwith him or her. Inevitably, contempt leads to more conflict ratherthan to reconciliation. 12. Peter, the manager of a shoe store, was a master atcontempt, at least when it came to his wife. Listen towhat happens when he and Cynthia try to discuss theirdisparate views about spending money.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------He says, Just look at the difference in our vehicles and our clothes. Ithink that says a lot for who we are and what we value. I mean, youtease me about washing my truck, and you go and pay to have somebodywash your car. Were paying through the nose for your car, and you cantbe bothered to wash it. I think thats outrageous. I think thats probablythe most spoiled thing that you do.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Hes not merely pointing out that they spend theirmoney differently. He is accusing his wife of a moraldeficiencyof being spoiled. 13. Cynthia responds by telling him that its physicallydifficult for her to wash her car herself.Peter dismisses this explanation and continues to takethe high moral ground. I take care of my truck because ifyou take care of it, itll last longer. I dont come from thementality of Ah, just go out and buy a new one that you seemto.Still hoping to get Peter on her side, Cynthia says, If youcould help me to wash my car, Id really love that. Id reallyappreciate it. 14. But instead of grabbing this chance at reconciliation, Peterwants to do battle. How many times have you helped me wash mytruck? he counters.Cynthia tries again to reconcile. I will help you wash your truck ifyou will help me wash my car.But Peters goal is not to resolve this issue but to dress her down.So he says, Thats not my question. How many times have youhelped me?Never, says Cynthia.See? says Peter. Thats where I think you have a little responsibility,too. Its like, you know, if your dad bought you a house, would you expecthim to come over and paint it for you, too? 15. Cindy says, Well, will you always help me wash my car if Ialways help you wash your truck?Im not sure that Id want ya to help me, Peter says,laughing.Well, will you always help me wash my car, then? Cynthiaasks.I will help you when I can. I wont give you a blanketguarantee for life. What are you gonna do, sue me? asksPeter.And he laughs again. Listening to this discussion, itbecomes clear that Peters main purpose is to demeanhis wife. 16. His contempt comes in the guise of assuming thehigh moral ground, as when he says: I think thatsays a lot for who we are and what we value, or Idont come from the mentality of just go out and buy anew one. Gottman, John; Nan Silver (2002-02-04). The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work (pp.29-30). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.Philippians 2:3ff; 1Cor. 13:4-7 17. To sustain love, we have to learn how tonegotiate ... differences of all kinds ... and tospeak to each other in ways that allow us to beheard, that allow us to be received.DEE WATTS-JONES Proverbs 13:3; 15:1-4, 28; 18:6-7; 21:23; 29:11, 20 18. INVALIDATION: PAINFUL PUT-DOWNSWENDY: (very angry) You missed your doctorsappointment again! I even texted you to remind you.You are so irresponsible. I could see you dying andleaving me, just like your father.TED: (bruised) Thanks a lot. You know I am nothinglike my father.WENDY: He was useless, and so are you.TED: (dripping with sarcasm) Im sorry. I forgot mygood fortune to be married to such a paragon ofresponsibility. You cant even keep your purse organized.Markman, Howard J.; Scott M. Stanley; Susan L. Blumberg (2010-03-18). Fighting for Your Marriage: 19. Preventing InvalidationWENDY: (very angry) I am very angry that you missedthe doctors appointment again. I worry about yourbeing around for me in the future.TED: (surprised) It really upset you, didnt it?WENDY: You bet. I want to know that you are going tobe there for me, and when you miss an appointmentthat Im anxious about, I worry about us.TED: I understand why it would make you worriedwhen I dont take care of myself. 20. Negative Interpretations When Perception Is Worse Than RealityNegative interpretations occur when one partnerconsistently believes that the motives of the other aremore negative than is really the case.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Margot and David have been married twelve years, and they aregenerally happy with their relationship. Yet their discussions attimes have been plagued by a specific negative interpretation.Every December they have had trouble deciding whether totravel to her parents home for the holidays. Margot believes thatDavid dislikes her parents, but in fact, he is quite fond of themin his own way. 21. MARGOT: We should start looking into plane tickets to go visit myparents this holiday season.DAVID: (thinking about their budget problem) I was wondering ifwe can really afford it this year.MARGOT: (in anger) My parents are very important to me, even ifyou dont like them. Im going to go.DAVID: I would like to goreally I would. I just dont see how wecan afford a thousand dollars in plane tickets and pay the bill forJoeys orthodontist too.MARGOT: You cant be honest and admit you just dont want togo, can you? Just admit it. You dont like my parents.DAVID: There is nothing to admit. I enjoy visiting your parents. Imthinking about money here, not your parents.MARGOT: Thats a convenient excuse. (storms out of the room) 22. Given that we know David really does like to go to herparents, can you see how powerful her negativeinterpretation has become? He cannot penetrate it.What can he say or do to make a difference as long asher belief that he dislikes them is so strong? In thiscase, David wants to address the decision they mustmake from the standpoint of the budget, but Margotsinterpretation will overpower their ability tocommunicate effectively and will make it hard to cometo a decision that makes both of them happy.Fortunately for them, this problem is relatively isolatedand not a consistent pattern in their marriage.Proverbs 18:13; John 7:24 23. Alfred and Eileen are a couple who were high schoolsweethearts; they have been married eighteen years andhave three children, but have been very unhappy in theirmarriage for more than seven yearsin part due to thecorrosive effect of strong negative interpretations.Although there are positive things in their marriage,almost nothing each does is recognized positively by theother, as illustrated by this recent conversation aboutparking their car. 24. ALFRED: You left the car out again.EILEEN: Oh. I guess I forgot to put it in when I cameback from Lizzies.ALFRED: (with a bit of a sneer) I guess you did. Youknow how much that irritates me.EILEEN: (exasperated) Look, I forgot. Do you think Ileave it out just to irritate you?ALFRED: (coldly) Actually, that is exactly what I think.I have told you so many times I want the car in thegarage at night.EILEEN: Yes, you have. But I dont leave it out just totick you off. I just forget. 25. ALFRED: If you cared what I thought about things,youd remember.EILEEN: (anger rising in her voice now) You know thatI put the car in nine times out of ten.ALFRED: More like half the time, and those are thetimes I leave the garage door up for you.EILEEN: (disgusted, walking away) Have it your way. Itdoesnt matter what reality is. You will see it your way.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Proverbs 21:23We all have a very strong tendency toward confirmation bias,which is the tendency to look for evidence that confirms whatwe already think is true about others or situations. 26. WITHDRAWAL AND AVOIDANCE: HIDE AND SEEKWithdrawal and avoidance are different manifestationsof a pattern in which one partner shows anunwillingness to get into or stay with importantdiscussions.Withdrawal can be as obvious as getting up and leavingthe room or as subtle as turning off or shuttingdown during an argument. The withdrawer often tendsto get quiet during an argument, or may agree quickly tosome suggestion just to end the conversation, with noreal intention of following through. 27. Lets look at this pattern as played out in a discussionbetween Paula, a twenty-eight-year-old realtor, andJeff, a thirty-two-year-old loan officer. Married forthree years, they have a two-year-old baby girl, Tanya,whom they adore. They were concerned that thetension in their relationship was starting to affect theirdaughter.Markman, Howard J.; Scott M. Stanley; Susan L. Blumberg (2010-03-18). Fighting for YourMarriage: A Deluxe Revised Edition of the Classic Best-seller for Enhancing Marriage andPreventing Divorce (p. 57). John Wiley and Sons. Kindle Edition. 28. PAULA: When are we going to talk about how you arehandling your anger?JEFF: Cant this wait? I have to get these taxes done.PAULA: Ive brought this up at least five times already.No, it cant wait!JEFF: (tensing) Whats to talk about, anyway? Its noneof your business.PAULA: (frustrated and looking right at Jeff) Tanya ismy business. Im afraid that you may lose your temperand hurt her, and you wont do a thing to learn to dealbetter with your anger.JEFF: (turning away, looking out the window) I loveTanya. Theres no problem here. (leaving the room as hetalks) 29. PAULA: (very angry now, following Jeff into the nextroom) You have to get some help. You cant just stickyour head in the sand.JEFF: Im not going to discuss anything with you whenyou are like this.PAULA: Like what? It doesnt matter if I am calm orfrustratedyou wont talk to me about anythingimportant. Tanya is having problems, and you have toface that.JEFF: (quiet, tense, fidgeting)PAULA: Well? 30. JEFF: (going to closet and grabbing a sweater) Im goingout to have a drink and get some peace and quiet.PAULA: (voice raised, angry) Talk to me, now. Im tiredof you leaving when we are talking about somethingimportant.JEFF: (looking away from Paula, walking toward thedoor) Im not talking; you are. Actually, youre yelling.See you later.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you are seeing this pattern in your relationship, keep in mindthat it will likely get worse if you allow it to continue. That isbecause as pursuers push more, withdrawers withdraw more.And as withdrawers pull back, pursuers push harder. 31. Get Off To A Good Start!After many years of research, John Gottman has begunemphasizing something that we find very compelling. Some yearsago, he...</p>