Her version of what happened is different than his, and both think they are right. "It's a tangled mess" he says, "And we're not sure how to move forward."
Tangles take time to unravel. As a former racquet-stringer, it's something I've mastered. It requires calm nerves and a steady pace until all the knots are undone. Tangled messes for couples are similar.
In Marriage Coaching we slow things down by adding some individual sessions to focus on one partner's view of the tangles, and then we prevail on them to do their part. Often this means taking 100% responsibility for whatever portion of the problem that they are willing to own(1)...and not offering any excuses or defense for speaking or behaving inappropriately.
"I can do that", she said. "Good", I thought. Maybe now they'll move forward.
Coach your own marriage
Is there a tangle in your relationship right now? Here are some suggestions:
1. Get alone with God and ask Him to show you where you are in the wrong.
2. Ask God to give you the grace and humility to confess to the offended party.
3. Say, "About _____. I was wrong. Will you forgive me?"
4. Leave it at that. Offer no justification, defense or explanation.(2)
5. If the offended needs you to hear their feelings, serve them by reflecting.
Without wood a fire goes out... (Proverbs 26:20, NIV).
Just this morning I saw a relationship become a bit more tangled because both participants made vain efforts to change the behavior of the other. The result was frustration and knots that are a little bit tighter. Either or both could use the process above to begin to make things better. The key is taking responsibility for self, and letting God deal with the other.
Godspeed in slowing things down and taking responsibility for yourself in your relationships!
Jeff and Jill, Marriage Coaches
1. I first heard this from Rich Wildman, who said that his 16 month separation from his wife began to heal when he took 100% responsibility for his portion of their problems.
2. I Peter 2:23 - "...rather, He (Jesus) entrusted himself to Him who judges justly." When beaten and ridiculed, Jesus responsed with silence. He entrusted his defense to His Father rather than engaging an argument with men.