Sometimes, when a couple is having trouble, they decide to try to deal with it.

And when they decide to deal with it, sometimes they are effective, and other times they create more damage.

Today, a quick note about the damaging approach: The Big Talk about the relationship.

You know the one; it’s the talk that will pull things back together. You will share, your spouse will suddenly understand, you two will make up, and marital bliss will follow. OK, that’s the mental picture you hold.

I’m afraid I have to break the news. That talk is not going to go the way you want it to go. In fact, you are likely to find yourself in the midst of a fight, worse off than you were before.

The reason is this: marriages get in trouble because the level of intimacy has either always been off, or has gotten off-course. That may seem obvious, but the side-effect of this is that when you are trying to have “The Big Talk,” there is not enough intimacy in the relationship to contain it.

So, you end up with a defensive spouse who feels threatened by being “pulled into” a discussion that was not his or her idea. Then he or she feels blamed, no matter how you try to explain your fault (if you see any) in yourself.

Usually, we play out the scenario in our minds about the conversation, how we will start it, how our spouse will respond, and how it will end.

But our spouse doesn’t know the script, and doesn’t even know we have been pondering the conversation, until he or she hears “we need to talk.” That will strike fear into anyone (probably even stronger in men).

So, right off the bat, anxiety is up, fear is rampant, and the possibility of actually hearing is reduced by 90%. The rest is just playing out the recipe for disaster.

That doesn’t mean you don’t talk.

It means you build intimacy along the way, before you have the bigger, deeper talks.

Spend time reconnecting, being friends, having chats about your thoughts and your life (outside the relationship). Once that level of intimacy is reached, it is possible to have deeper talks, but by that time, it won’t be “The Big Talk,” just another talk about your relationship.

From Erin at LoveRomanceRelationship: Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D. has written “Save The Marriage” and is an expert in helping couples work through the challenges of marriage and partnership. If you and your spouse are having a rough time, please check this out, <–here! 

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