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The Remarried Life

Jul 24, 2018

Brian Mayer talks about whether or not your different opinion is a simple disagreement or just plain negativity.  As with most issues this is a complicated one with lots of opinions on every side.  We will tackle this issue to give you some tips to help your disagreements not turn into a negative spiral that can send you and your partner running for the hills.  We hope you enjoy today’s episode.  For more information and additional resources please visit our website at

Today's Goodies

  • Disagreements are going to happen in a relationship.  If they don’t then one might say that you aren’t really truly connecting with each other.  However, those disagreements are often seen as just good old negativity. 
  • Did you know that couples disagree with each other around 2,455 times every year?  That’s almost 7 times a day!  Most of the arguments are over what seems to be trivial, but in reality they are usually about something deeper.  For example you might be arguing over what color to paint the kids room, but in reality it might be that you don’t feel like you are listened to and so the argument spirals because of that and not because you can’t decide on a paint color. 
  • Often one person in the argument will see their view as a simple difference of opinion while the other person sees this as downright negativity.  Why does this difference happen.  It happens for lots of reasons and can’t always be pinned on one person. 
  • For the person that disagrees at an idea presented typically will be the one to believe that this is purely a disagreement and an issue that will ultimately find a solution
  • For the person that presents an idea, he or she often can see the response to their request in a different way.  Sometimes it may be received as a disagreement and other times it may be seen negativity. 
  • The person disagreeing needs to watch for several things in their response that could be perceived as negativity rather than a friendly disagreement.  Some of those are as follows: 
    • Body Language (raising arms, turning away, shaking the head)
    • Tone (anger, harshness, raising of the voice, talking more quickly or more slowly)
    • Interrupting (not allowing your partner to finish a thought)
    • Defensiveness (not taking responsibility for some of the issue)
  • For the person who initially presents the idea he or she needs to watch for the following: 
    • Railroading (this means not giving an option for input)
    • Not Being Mindful (this means thinking about similar discussions that did not go well as this will sometimes jade the discussion)
    • Mental and Physical State (sometimes how we are feeling that day will make it easier or more difficult to hear different opinions).
  • So now that we know what some of the issues are that get in the way of how discussions are perceived, let’s talk about some different methods of communicating that could help. 
  • The Sandwich Method: means to start with something positive, then discuss something negative, then end with a positive. 
  • Focus on the Positive:  Find what you do agree about and sometimes this is easier said than done.  For example, maybe don’t agree on the new color for the kids room, but your color choices are a bit closer than you originally had thought.  Or maybe you completely agree on the items to be placed in the room and so you spend much time discussing how you are in agreement regarding much about the room and it will help lessen the feeling that you are in complete disagreement. 
  • The Collaborative Method: means bringing your partner’s ideas into the discussion.  For example, you might say something like “here is my opinion on the issue and then after I am done I invite you to tell me where I could be wrong here and by doing this we can try to come out with a solution that might work for both of us.”     
  • Remember anger and getting flooded can sabotage these methods.  If you notice this happening just ask your partner if you can walk away for a bit to collect your thoughts.  Remember to tell your partner you love them and want to come to some type of agreement whether that be a compromise, one of you relents (with the potential to have more say next time) or some other means. 
  • Keep working at turning negativity into a disagreement that eventually you can turn into a possible agreement.   



Thanks For Listening!

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As always remember that marriage is nothing something you have, it is something you do.  Talk to you next week unless you are binge listening in the future in which case I will talk to you in about a minute!  Take care.