Consider these Groundrules for Marriage

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TheTigress
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Re: Consider these Groundrules for Marriage

Postby TheTigress » Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:23 pm

SeekingChange wrote: I grew up in a house that I NEVER EVER heard my parents fight.



I came from the opposite situation as you! My parents fought ALOT! Even if it was behind closed doors it was loud enough they might as well not be! I don't think either of these extremes are healthy for kiddos to be in. FH and I have discussed briefly Jobs list and the not arguing in front of kids was something I expressed disagreement as well as a few others. FH pointed out that they weren't full blown disagreements but a different way of expressing pretty much the same principle.

Edited to fix Typo!!!
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TheTigress
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Re: We Need to Argue/Discuss More in Front of the Kids

Postby TheTigress » Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:47 am

Job29Man wrote:This is a really excellent question. And in fact in 2010 I posted an update that was titled We Need to Argue More In Front of the Kids.

Go on over there and read up on it.
So... we've been arguing/discussing more in front of the kiddos (selectively) and I'm actually happier with the effects of this. I think it is healthier for the children. We've been doing so for about 4 years now.



So how do you choose what's okay to argue/discuss in front of your kids?
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PS56
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Re: Consider these Groundrules for Marriage

Postby PS56 » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:15 am

I think there is a big difference between having a reasoned discussion and disagreement in front of children, where opposing points of view are expressed with love and consideration, and perhaps some humor -- and "disagreements" or arguments that basically involve yelling or expressions of obvious anger. When I was a kid, I was very much bothered by my mother and father having angry disagreements and discussions, which were basically verbal fights. My sisters were bothered by them also (we usually all ended up crying) and I still recall them vividly to this day. Before my father passed away a few months ago, it would still bother me if my father or mother spoke crossly or impatiently to one another on occasion.

My DW an I basically never fight or have angry words with one another. I don't know whether this is a product of what I experienced as a child, or just our personalities. But the effect on our home environment has been very beneficial, as our kids have commented often that they want to make sure that they find a spouse who can relate to them the same way. When my DW and I do have discussions in front of our kids that involve some disagreement, we typically try to infuse the discussion or disagreement with some humor (not insulting humor but self-deprecating humor) so our audience realizes that we are not angry with one another and that we are still in love. If we have some more serious disagreement (which is pretty rare), we will tend to discuss that outside of the presence of the children, just because some things between married persons are just better kept private.

Some of this depends on the age of the children I think, but especially with young children, I think it is very easy for them to misinterpret a disagreement or discussion (particularly if they have a friend whose parents are separated or getting divorced, which is pretty common nowadays).

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TheTigress
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Re: Consider these Groundrules for Marriage

Postby TheTigress » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:19 pm

I came from a similar home situation as I stated earlier my parents fought ALOT, and not in a constructive way at all. FH and I were pretty intentional about how we wanted to resolve conflict when it occurs early on in our relationship and it has really paid off. We communicate in a healthy way and "fight fair" We fight the problem and not each other. We are able to disagree with one another without taking it personally. For instance we have differing views on if lethal force should be used in self-defense but we don't get angry or hurt about it. We realize we are different people and are not going to agree on EVERY little thing in life. I think maybe disagreements would be appropriate to have in front of kids, as long as the topic being disagreed on is kid-friendly/age appropriate(nothing private or "adult" in nature).

We decided in the beginning to consciously not respond out of emotion. If either of us does then we take a step back and take the time to analyze our feelings and why we are feeling that way so that we can appropriately discuss our emotions without reacting to each other in a hurtful way.
Together or not at all- Amy Pond

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Re: Consider these Groundrules for Marriage

Postby SeekingChange » Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:08 pm

Beauty4Ashes10 wrote:We decided in the beginning to consciously not respond out of emotion. If either of us does then we take a step back and take the time to analyze our feelings and why we are feeling that way so that we can appropriately discuss our emotions without reacting to each other in a hurtful way.

This sounds like a great starting point! From my experience there's a big difference in disagreeing about something like "lethal action in self-defense" and something that is very personal. It will be much harder to separate emotions when there's a personal attack on you that cuts you to the core. That is just something to be aware of so you can be half-way prepared for it when it happens.

I think PS56 shared something that has been a huge difference in our marriage this past year.
PS56 wrote:When my DW and I do have discussions in front of our kids that involve some disagreement, we typically try to infuse the discussion or disagreement with some humor (not insulting humor but self-deprecating humor) so our audience realizes that we are not angry with one another and that we are still in love.

When a couple does not really have any walls between them, there's no harbored bitterness, and there's a deep, intimate connection, humor is a great way to defuse an escalating situation. This has only been present in our marriage the past year out of 19 1/2 years.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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TheTigress
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Re: Consider these Groundrules for Marriage

Postby TheTigress » Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:31 pm

There actually have been much more personal disagreements, and this particular one is more personal than it appears at face value because of my history with abuse. I know I have barely scratched the surface of future hurt. When you are that close to somebody they have the capacity to hurt you in a very deep way. I KNOW FH would never hurt me intentionally but pain is part of the package. So while I haven't experienced deep pain I have been hurt but its usually a lot to do with perception and unmet/unrealistic expectations. When I step back and evaluate why something hurt my feelings I can usually trace it to an unmet expectation. I expected you to react "this" way when I showed you my new hair cut not that way. When you can identify why you are hurt you can articulate it in a way that you're spouse can understand and make any necessary adjustments (or the adjustment may need to happen on your end of the expectation is unrealistic). I know I have a lot to learn but because of the turmoil I witnessed in my parents and others relationships I wanted as much ammo going into this experience as possible so I've read A LOT and watched healthy and unhealthy couples a lot. I also know there's no way to be fully prepared but I wanted to know what I was getting into and have the healthiest relationship possible.
Together or not at all- Amy Pond

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Job29Man
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Re: Consider these Groundrules for Marriage

Postby Job29Man » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:58 am

We choose our disagreements to keep public. The rest are private.
Wanting to become like Job, as described in the Bible, the book of Job chapter 29. Hence the screen name.

spacehub
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Re: Consider these Groundrules for Marriage

Postby spacehub » Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:34 pm

These are fantastic!

I hope to incorporate these rules into my own marriage. Thank you very much for assembling and publishing them.

TheGirlWhoWaited

Re: Consider these Groundrules for Marriage

Postby TheGirlWhoWaited » Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:01 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this! My sweet fiance and I will have to change some of the wording, but this was perfect! Thank you again! !!

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sanura-sun

Re: Consider these Groundrules for Marriage

Postby sanura-sun » Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:52 pm

Read through this list and I agree with most of it. I plan to share it with my FH and discuss it with him :)


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