Thursday, October 16, 2014

How To Avoid Arguing With Your Wife (Women)?

I am going to share to you here an excerpt of the book "Men's Relational Toolbox" by Gary, Greg and Micheal Smalley. I hope you get something from this, and improve somehow your relationship with your wife. :-)

Men and women approach problems with similar goals but different considerations. While men and women can solve problems equally well, their approach and their process are often quite different. For most women, sharing and discussing a problem presents an opportunity to explore, deepen, or strengthen relationships. Women are usually more concerned about how problems are solved than if they are solved. The process of solving a problem can strengthen or weaken a relationship.

Most men are les concerned about relationships when solving a problem. For most men, solving a problem presents an opportunity to demonstrate their competence, their strength of resolve, and their commitment to a relationship. How the problem is solved is not nearly as important as solving it effectively and in the best possible manner. Men have a tendency to dominate and to assume authority in a problem-solving process. They are not focused on the quality of relationships while solving problems.

Some of the more important differences can be illustrated by observing groups of teenage boys and groups of teenage girls attempting to find their way out of a maze. Boys generally establish a hierarchy, choosing a leader who emerges on his own or through demonstrations of ability and power. Boys explore the maze using scouts while remaining in distant proximity to each other. Groups of girls tend to explore the maze together as a group without establishing a clear or dominant leader. Relationships tend to be coequal. Girls tend to discuss the problem and apply "collective intelligence" to the task of discovering a way out.

What is your style of solving problems? Are you the kind of guy who excels at looking a problem or a puzzle and quickly and efficiently coming up with a solution? Can you look at a malfunction in your car or around the house and see in moments what needs to be done? If so, you are probably adept at using the problem-solving tool.

We guys tend to be good at problem solving. It's part of who we are, part of how God designed us. Here is a good example of a man who used the problem-solving tool with great skill.

"I didn't know what to do," he explained to us.

But in an effort to truly honor his wife, Bob chose to become a new man. The problem was, he did it by using his problem-solving tool. Now, the use of his tool can be a good thing. But in this case, mere problem solving was too simple for the tasks his wife expected him to do. This became particularly evident once when Betty asked him to clean the downstairs bathroom.

"Sure honey," Bob told her. He grabbed his problem-solving tool and headed to the bathroom, armed with a bucket, sponges, sprays and powders.

What we saw came as a complete surprise: The bathroom was already clean. Bob looked around to make sure he was right. There was no dirt in the sink, none in the toilet, and none on the floors. He shook his head in confusion and tucked his problem-solving tool back in his toolbox. If the bathroom was already clean, then the problem was solved. He returned the cleaning supplies to the laundry room and then reported to Betty.

"It's clean," he said. Then he smiled for good measure.

"What?" Betty's eyebrows knitted into two tense, crooked lines. "That's impossible!"

She led the way as the two of them returned to the bathroom. Betty walked through the door, did a single glance about the room, and put her hands on her hips. What do you mean, "it's clean"? She grimaced at the sink. "It's filthy."

Bob followed Betty's gaze and squinted. For the life of him he couldn't see any dirt. From Betty's tone of voice, he'd have expected to see whole colonies of mold and bacteria with germs the size of house pets. 

"It looks clean to me." Bob shrugged.

At that, Betty's expression fell. You see, on some level Betty thought that cleaning the bathroom would be - at least partially - an emotional experience. She wanted Bob to appreciate the level of cleaning she did on a regular basis. Then she wanted him to duplicate that type of cleaning. But Bob was seeing the situation only as a problem to be solved, and since the bathroom looked clean, there was no longer a problem.

Betty rolled her eyes and said, "If you cared about me, Bob, you'd make an effort."

Make an effort? Bob was baffled. "It doesn't need cleaning. How can that mean I don't care about you?"

The disagreement became an argument that repeated itself every weekend for a month.

Since then, Bob has learned to use a few of the relational tools in addition to his problem-solving one. Now he simply attacks the room as if it dd have germs the size of house pets, and even though he sees no difference in the before and after pictures, Betty is thrilled. This way Bob is still able to use his problem-solving tool, but he's also learned to honor Betty and to compromise on what exactly defines clean in their household.

I'd love to know what you think of this post:

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