Monday, March 28, 2011

"I Love You Because" (a strategy to help solve problems)

How is it that one minute you absolutely love your spouse forever and the next you are upset about some stupid thing?  How you can switch from being best friends to war enemies all within a matter of moments?  And then those tiny stupid things you are fighting about grow to the size of a huge ugly monster?

Even here at Living Our DREAM Life, we have our problems.  And I would say that problems were not part of my dream so they can't be part of OUR dream but then I am reminded by scriptures that say "...having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin" (2 Ne 2:21) and "for it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.  If not so,... righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad" (2 Ne 2 :11) and finally, "for after much tribulation come the blessings." (D&C 58:4)  We have to experience the bad in order to appreciate the great.

Now... I am not saying that you HAVE to have problems and you certainly don't have to go looking for them.  But they arise!  And if we will let them, the problems we face will make us stronger.  Ultimately, trials and arguments have the potential to become a source of power.  Because the Lord has promised us that if we will humble ourselves and have faith in Him, "then [He will] make the weak things become strong unto them." (Ether 12:27)

So the question remains... how do you turn an argument and disagreement into a strength?  Well... I certainly don't have all the answers, but I thought I would share something that works for us and is slowly helping to mold us into the people we will become.

This pattern doesn't always work every time... but I love using it!
1. Time Out and Personal Prayer
2. "I Love You Because"  (I will explain this later!!)
3. Couple Prayer
4. I-Statements
5. Brainstorm Solutions
6. Each decides what he/ she will do to change and how
7. Show an increase of Love

So allow me to explain what "I Love You Because" is...  (Please note: If you want to know what I mean by our other steps... leave a comment and I will explain.  To teach all of those in one post is WAY too long--and some of them I assume are kind of self-explanatory.  But I could for sure assume wrong!)

First of all, we move to neutral ground.  Literally move.  Sitting on the floor is a good neutral spot for us because we generally don't sit on the floor.  Once you are in neutral ground, you have to sit so you have at least three points of contact.  We will generally sit "Indian" style on the floor with both of our knees touching and our foreheads.  Sitting this close together forces us to talk softly but in case it doesn't for you then make a rule that you can only whisper in neutral ground.

Now before you jump on your horse and list off all the problems and everything that is wrong, you have to play a game with your spouse.  While you are whispering and having 3 points of contact, start the problem solving neutral session with the game, "I love you because _________."  One person starts and whispers one thing they love about the spouse.  Then it is the other person's turn.  Keep going back and forth until all the anger and arguing and hurt is gone.  This may take awhile and it might be hard at first to come up with things you love when you are upset.  And it might be even tougher to have to go first--but do it!  Lower your pride and just do it!  Think about it though... if you didn't love your spouse SO extremely much, you probably wouldn't be fighting either.  Generally, people don't fight with strangers/ casual people you barely know.  So tear down that wall you both built, one "I love you because" brick at a time!

I know this DEFINITELY helps!  And I even plan to do it in the future with fighting children.


Erin Despain said...

Great idea! Thanks for sharing!

Lisa said...

My pleasure! :)