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Discussion related to living as a Catholic in the single state of life. As long as a topic is being discussed from the perspective of a single Catholic then it will be on-topic.

Tobias and Sarah's story is from the Book of Tobit, and his journey is guided by Saint Raphael.
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Nov 22nd 2012 new

(Quote) John-184825 said: Hi Kathy, Thanks for participating in this discussion. Without intending to ask any ...
(Quote) John-184825 said:

Hi Kathy,

Thanks for participating in this discussion.

Without intending to ask any personal questions, I'll ask whether taking the time to find out about each other before marriage was worth the wait? What would you advise others to do to make sure that both, on the one hand, they could express some unpleasant emotions when needed and, on the other hand, they would allow the same to the other party?

Wondering whether I've been inflicting flack on myself by avoiding conflict,

John

--hide--


Sorry for the technical difficulties...the third times a charm, right?


It was worth it to me, to know without a doubt, what I was getting into. I knew he had a temper. I tend to avoid conflict myself because I prefer harmony. (I'm typing this as both my kids are practicing their trumpets, so it feels a bit ironic, harmonically that is.) I think it is normal and healthy for a relationship to experience some conflict. Hopefully it is less common than the times where you are truly enjoying each other. Knowing your partner and seeing how they deal with those issues is very important. Are you going to work together to come to an agreement or is one of you going to shut down and pretend it never happened? By avoiding it purposefully, you are sort of cheating the other of a chance to show you who they are. I would much rather know what to expect before going into a marriage. But like anything, there are also those times you may not agree, but it isn't worth the battle. My advise is to not stifle too much or the littlest thing will cause a blowout. Emotions are healthy if expressed properly.

Nov 22nd 2012 new

(Quote) John-184825 said: The basic question here is whether the expression of unpleasant emotions such as anger, irrita...
(Quote) John-184825 said:


The basic question here is whether the expression of unpleasant emotions such as anger, irritation and impatience is important, or at least very helpful, in maintaining any kind of romantic relationship including a marriage.

Rather than asking for answers in the usual form of opinions, I will ask a question whose answers will be evidence for or against the theory that says that feeling safe and free to express negative feelings in an appropriate way is very important factor in the maintenance of a romantic relationship.

The same question is posed both, on the one hand, to those whose marriages were unhappy and ended in divorce, and, on the other hand, to those whose marriages were happy and ended upon the loss of a spouse. The question is, "Did you express unpleasant emotions enough before the marriage so that you entered the marriage feeling free and safe about continuing to do that when needed by the situation?

Note that this is not an attempt to maneuver anyone into revealing private information which he wishes to remain concealed.

I wish not to irritate, but just to irrigate the flowers of love.

Wondering who'll believe that,

John

--hide--


NO. However, I always felt free to, I just chose not to. I was all about making the other person happy. Never did I realize I gave him a licence to make himself happy -- with other woman. Hummmm, should I have fought over who got the turkey wing and last spoon of cranberry sauce?

Nov 22nd 2012 new

[quote]John-184825 said:


The basic question here is whether the expression of unpleasant emotions such as anger, irritation and impatience is important, or at least very helpful, in maintaining any kind of romantic relationship including a marriage.

Rather than asking for answers in the usual form of opinions, I will ask a question whose answers will be evidence for or against the theory that says that feeling safe and free to express negative feelings in an appropriate way is very important factor in the maintenance of a romantic relationship.

The same question is posed both, on the one hand, to those whose marriages were unhappy and ended in divorce, and, on the other hand, to those whose marriages were happy and ended upon the loss of a spouse. The question is, "Did you express unpleasant emotions enough before the marriage so that you entered the marriage feeling free and safe about continuing to do that when needed by the situation?

Note that this is not an attempt to maneuver anyone into revealing private information which he wishes to remain concealed.

I wish not to irritate, but just to irrigate the flowers of love.

Wondering who'll believe that,

John

[/quo


In the beginning, what we found was that many disagreements were more about semantics than real differences. Fortunately, we were committed to working on what appeared to be differences, which meant some very disagreeable discussions the first year we were married. Of course, the making up didn't require much explanation.


Throughout the years, we were very open to each other's opinions and secure in who we were individually and as a couple, so we respected our different opinions. In the beginning we found that unpleasant emotions led to more unpleasant emotions. So, we worked on trying to respect each other enough to temper unpleasantness with understanding. It worked for us for 34 years and taught me that communication and respect can resolve just about any disagreement when the people involved really wish to resolve their differences.


And, no John, I do not believe you did not wish to irritate...but I was willing to play along. duck


- Elizabeth

Nov 22nd 2012 new

I grew up in a family where expressing those types of emotions was frowned upon and suppressed. I carried that into my previous relationships. She would be in a bad mood, not willing to discuss the issue, and it would be the elephant in the room. As for me, if I was in a bad mood, I would make myself scarce so as not to burden her with my issues, trying to work things out on my own, for fear of letting my bad mood out on her.

Going forward, the Bible teaches me not to choose a nagging, vengeful wife (Proverbs speaks to this), so unless she and I can attack the problem together, compromise, and encourage each other (with God at the center of all of it), then I think it's doomed to failure.

Hope that made sense. My flu meds are kicking in.

Nov 23rd 2012 new

(Quote) Elaine-525333 said: There is nothing wrong with expressing emotions. A person should be able to express themselves. ...
(Quote) Elaine-525333 said:

There is nothing wrong with expressing emotions. A person should be able to express themselves. Its just how you handle yourself in the situation.

--hide--
Hi Elaine,

Thanks for your thoughts.

I think that you might go a step further and not just say. There is nothing wrong with expressing emotions, but also add, There can be a lot wrong with not expressing emotions.

John

Nov 23rd 2012 new
(Quote) Eric-114571 said: Being able to express (appropriate) anger, irritation, & such is key to any type of relationship of ...
(Quote) Eric-114571 said:



Being able to express (appropriate) anger, irritation, & such is key to any type of relationship of depth. I had to learn to be able to do this with my parents as an adult when they wanted to keep relating to me like I was a child. The key is doing it in a constructive and non-threatening way. Open communication between 2 people in any kind of relationship is key. Great communication is more important to me than physical appearance. While I need enough of the latter for there to be a spark, I want lots of the former.

When I am next in a relationship I definitely want to see if we as a couple can handle negative emotions as you said. If handled appropriately I don't think "negative" emotions are actually negative --- the kind of communication that happens while working through a situation like that does powerful good things for a relationship. Increased tenderness towards, aware of the needs of, and respect for the other --- and they increased gratitude to have someone who cares enough to listen and change. None of us are perfect and can at times not adequately take the other's feelings and needs in consideration enough and need to be called out on it, for instance.

--hide--


Eric, I really like your response.
Nov 23rd 2012 new

(Quote) David-364112 said: Maybe I'm just dense, but I can never understand what you're talking about. Can you be mo...
(Quote) David-364112 said:

Maybe I'm just dense, but I can never understand what you're talking about. Can you be more direct?

--hide--
I tried to add some context, which may have complicated things.

This is what I tried to do. I had heard that the expression of truly felt emotions was needed for a healthy relationship. If this claim were true, it seemed to follow that happy marriages were more likely to have been preceded by dating and courtship that included the expression of all kinds of feelings including the unpleasant ones and also that unhappy marriages were less likely to have been preceded by dating and courtship that included the expression of all kinds of feelings including the unpleasant ones.

After making two more assumptions, namely that marriages that end in the loss of a spouse are more likely to be happy and that marriages that end in divorce are more likely to be unhappy, I asked of both groups that same question: Did you express unpleasant emotions enough before the marriage so that you entered the marriage feeling free and safe about continuing to do that when needed by the situation?

The replies would put that claim (The expression of truly felt emotions was needed for a healthy relationship) to the test - or so I hoped.

Nov 23rd 2012 new

(Quote) Kathy-635104 said: Sorry for the technical difficulties...the third times a charm, right?It was worth it...
(Quote) Kathy-635104 said:


Sorry for the technical difficulties...the third times a charm, right?

It was worth it to me, to know without a doubt, what I was getting into. I knew he had a temper. I tend to avoid conflict myself because I prefer harmony. (I'm typing this as both my kids are practicing their trumpets, so it feels a bit ironic, harmonically that is.) I think it is normal and healthy for a relationship to experience some conflict. Hopefully it is less common than the times where you are truly enjoying each other. Knowing your partner and seeing how they deal with those issues is very important. Are you going to work together to come to an agreement or is one of you going to shut down and pretend it never happened? By avoiding it purposefully, you are sort of cheating the other of a chance to show you who they are. I would much rather know what to expect before going into a marriage. But like anything, there are also those times you may not agree, but it isn't worth the battle. My advise is to not stifle too much or the littlest thing will cause a blowout. Emotions are healthy if expressed properly.

--hide--
Hi Kathy,

I don't think that there were any technical difficulties, but that you were testing whether I'd get angry. Well, Im really upset at this set-up. mischievous

Congratulations on possessing the wisdom that made you test a lot of things before marrying the man. Even though this kind of foresight is not one of the frequently mentioned qualities when aspects of desirability are discuss, I think that this trait of yours is a definite point of desirability that men should take into account.

I really appreciated these words, By avoiding it purposefully, you are sort of cheating the other of a chance to show you who they are.

Thanks.

John

Nov 23rd 2012 new

(Quote) Donna-871766 said:NO. However, I always felt free to, I just chose not to. I was all about making the other person ...
(Quote) Donna-871766 said:

NO. However, I always felt free to, I just chose not to. I was all about making the other person happy. Never did I realize I gave him a licence to make himself happy -- with other woman. Hummmm, should I have fought over who got the turkey wing and last spoon of cranberry sauce?

--hide--
I don't know about the turkey wing, but you should have drum-sticked him out of the house. scratchchin

Nov 23rd 2012 new

(Quote) Elizabeth-462557 said: (Quote) John-184825 said: The basic question here is whether the e...
(Quote) Elizabeth-462557 said:

[quote]John-184825 said:


The basic question here is whether the expression of unpleasant emotions such as anger, irritation and impatience is important, or at least very helpful, in maintaining any kind of romantic relationship including a marriage.

Rather than asking for answers in the usual form of opinions, I will ask a question whose answers will be evidence for or against the theory that says that feeling safe and free to express negative feelings in an appropriate way is very important factor in the maintenance of a romantic relationship.

The same question is posed both, on the one hand, to those whose marriages were unhappy and ended in divorce, and, on the other hand, to those whose marriages were happy and ended upon the loss of a spouse. The question is, "Did you express unpleasant emotions enough before the marriage so that you entered the marriage feeling free and safe about continuing to do that when needed by the situation?

Note that this is not an attempt to maneuver anyone into revealing private information which he wishes to remain concealed.

I wish not to irritate, but just to irrigate the flowers of love.

Wondering who'll believe that,

John

[/quo


In the beginning, what we found was that many disagreements were more about semantics than real differences. Fortunately, we were committed to working on what appeared to be differences, which meant some very disagreeable discussions the first year we were married. Of course, the making up didn't require much explanation.


Throughout the years, we were very open to each other's opinions and secure in who we were individually and as a couple, so we respected our different opinions. In the beginning we found that unpleasant emotions led to more unpleasant emotions. So, we worked on trying to respect each other enough to temper unpleasantness with understanding. It worked for us for 34 years and taught me that communication and respect can resolve just about any disagreement when the people involved really wish to resolve their differences.


And, no John, I do not believe you did not wish to irritate...but I was willing to play along.


- Elizabeth

--hide--
Elizabeth,

Thanks for being "willing to play along".

Your words, "many disagreements were more about semantics than real differences", make me try to imagine some instances of this kind of situation.

I liked that you wrote that you learned "that communication and respect can resolve just about any disagreement when the people involved really wish to resolve their differences."

Still plying along, mischievous shhh

John

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