My fiancée and I just can’t seem to get along these days. Between her stress about wedding planning and my stress about her (crazy) family, we get sucked into a pretty bad cycle of bickering leading to full-blown argument leading to cold shoulders and (me) sleeping on the couch. How can we break out of this pattern? We’re supposed to be getting married soon!
Even though things sound pretty difficult right now, here’s some really, really good news: positive shifts in your thinking, and in your interactions with your fiancée, are possible with one small step. Just one small step! Here it is:
Just pausing for one moment opens you up to new possibilities for response, engagement, and choices. During the pause you ask yourself questions like, “what is my primary goal here?” and “what is a non-defensive way to show her I want to try again?” During the pause you remind yourself about all the love and joy you’re capable of, like “I believe in us and I know we can recover from this disagreement” and “you are worthy of my love, even when you make mistakes.” (Here’s a great post by Mara and Danny Kofoed of A Blog About Love with five phrases that speak the language of love!)
It’s just one small step, but it’s pretty radical actually. A pause is all it takes to break out of patterns. A pause is all it takes to make a different, healthier choice towards loving each other and forgiving each other and reconnecting with each other.
We work with lots of premarital couples in premarital counseling who experience a similar up-tick in conflict when engaged. Wedding planning is stressful! Family dynamics are stressful! Your relationship is in transition, and transition can be destabilizing for even the most secure of relationships. In our Bethesda, MD premarital counseling sessions, we teach couples skills to repair and enrich their relationships. Contact us today!