Tuesday, January 20, 2009

10 minutes a Day to a Better Marriage

Ever since I was a child I enjoyed reading Marriage and parenting books. I guess as an outsider it’s easier and more enjoyable to read. So a couple of years ago, I came upon this book “10 Minutes a day to a better marriage” by Dr. Meir Wickler. I had an idea to start reading it and summarizing it. So I read one day’s worth and summarized it, but never got back to continue reading it. Then the other day Shorty reminded me of it, with a comment she made. So here’s what I have summarized so far. Perhaps I will continue reading it and summarize some more.

Rule #1- Do not exaggerate, like don't say you never do this or you always do this, cause then lets say the person does, then they'll dismiss your statement cause its not true, they did do it. Like if someone says you never take out the garbage and then that person feels that they did take out the garbage, they'll dismiss the statement.

And also not to use words like devastated, use upset or annoyed instead cause then if its a really big thing and you always use devastated the person won't know the difference.

Rule #2: Do not mind read. Don't say smugly "I know what you were thinking"

Rule #3- Use more "I" statements and less "you" statements cause when a person gets criticized they'll try to defend themselves instead of taking it in. If you say I would appreciate it more if... then their more likely to listen.

Rule #4- Do not generalize. Be specific and provide examples don't just say your not respecting me, give examples so they know what to correct.

Also about defending, when a person is talking don't try to defend yourself cause then the person will feel that your not validating their feelings and also, there’s a 24 hour rule, that one person could be the speaker at a time then the other person has to wait 24 hrs to speak but there’s active listening to do in the meantime.


rickismom said...

What?? If my husband hits the ceiling cause I left the heater on, I have to wait 24 hours to tell him I just left the living room for a few minutes, and soon am going back???

Jewish Side of Babysitter said...

Ricki's Mom: right, so I suppose it doesn't apply in that case, where you can explain it and everything would be fixed. It would apply more in a situation, where there is more involved, and it would take a lot of explaining and convincing, on something where husband and wife disagree about something.

I could check back in the book to see if there are examples. But I'll make up my own. Since everybody seems to have a thing about in laws being bad, I'll take that example.

If a husband gets upset at his mother in law, and the wife gets involved in the argument. Lets say its about what school the children should go to, or some other big decision that takes lots of time and negotiation. The husband and wife could both see the case differently, and if each would be given time to explain, and wouldn't blow up at each other, then there would be more peace. And sometimes, you just need a bit calming down time and then you can be more open and think logically.

Lion of Zion said...

i'm debating if i should leave the message i was originally typed out

Jewish Side of Babysitter said...

Lion Of Zion: and what message was that?

Shorty said...

COMMUNICATION - so important in a marriage. As humans, we take things personally. We forget that men and women really do think differently. I agree with using the I statements,
"when you wait to take out the trash, i feel like what i say isn't important to you". this is so hard to say - because we are impulsive. we react. we are mad, NOW. But what if we waited. is the trash that important? i mean really? no. is it worth belittling your partner over empty cans? definitely not. but feelings are real, and should be validated. so if something happens that makes you feel bad, think about what it is that is doing it. is it the trash or is it the feeling of being ignored...

Shorty said...

i just finished this book on self "conversations" that has three basic rules:
1) be joyful
2) think in terms of solutions - basically start all "critiques" with "what can I DO to make life easier for you" when you are about to "nag" your mate for doing something that you find "annoying"
3)create pleasure, don't cause pain.
goes with 1). If you are hurt, see my previous comment. don't be "deliberate" in your words to cause pain. choose words carefully. be nice. period. :)

Mikeinmidwood said...

Marriage counseling books dont always help, they sometimes make things worse. Especially when one side doesnt like to use these methods.

Dude with hat (aka BTS) said...

Interesting ideas. I'll add it as a link to my Shidduch Mistakes post.

Shorty said...

Marriage counselling books - although it is often "better" for both sides to participate...sometimes one side will see the ideas as "hokey". That's ok. The other side can still work on the ideas that are presented in the book - because they are all still good concepts. They must remember not to preach, and not to play the "i'm being better than you", but to change their own behavior - that is all they can do. they can't force the other person. However, once the partner sees the positive changes, it is far more likely that the partner will end up making those positive changes too (and probably reading if not at least asking about what is in the book).

Jewish Side of Babysitter said...

Shorty: yea, communication is really important in marriage. Good point, about evaluating if we are being rational or not, and to look at the cause.

Those sound like 3 good rules to keep in mind.

MikeInMidwood: sometimes it could make things worse. For each couple its different.

BTS: Thanx..

Shorty: very true! And that's an important rule for everything, we can only change ourselves.

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