Is this type of conversation familiar and regular between you and your husband?
Woman: What is this? (Her face looks annoyed and disgusted, rolled into one. In her mind, he is so lazy and doesn’t care to help around the house.)
Man: You said I needed to do the dishes and so, I did. (He was raising his eyebrows, and his voice is slightly elevated too. The husband thinks that his wife is so demanding. He also feels that she is always finding fault in him.)
Woman: Yes, I did. And that meant, you also clean the surrounding area, you know. Since you eat here, you cook here too, and well, you live here too, right? It doesn’t mean that because I’m the woman, you expect me to cook and clean for you. I work 10 hours a day like you do! (Now, she’s beginning to get angry.)
Man: Hey, you said, “do the dishes” and that’s what I did. You didn’t say clean the whole kitchen. I always do what you say because “you’re” the boss. Whatever you command MUST happen at once. (He is sarcastic.)
Woman: Are you insulting me?
Man: Oh no, I’m not. I can’t do that to you, you know.
And so, the fight ensues. Is this happening to you? Well, if it does, then, your marriage is about to crumble and near its downward spiral.
“Couples often feel that they know and understand their partner, and are compatible on most issues. However, this is a mistake.” –Dr. Chantal Gagnon PhD LMHC
Are you ready to get a divorce? Do you want to separate from your husband or wife? The real question here is – why do you find ways to hurt your spouse? Are you not head over heels in love with him or her just a few years ago?
Let REBT Work For Your Marriage
By using REBT techniques in your marriage, the situation displayed above can get better and stay positive. Dr. Albert Ellis, the creator of REBT or Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, talks about how irrational beliefs can promote negative feelings and emotions. With that, if people will make a conscious effort to change the way they think and feel, tense situations are diffusible. Instead of toxic conversations, you and your spouse can practice REBT techniques to soothe a boiling argument. “We can’t change the toxic people into non-toxic people, but we can work on being less reactive.” Marie Manly, PhD explains.
How is that possible? The principle behind REBT is that people create their negative thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. But it can be changed. People may think and feel negatively, but if they make an effort to shift their conflicting emotions and thoughts, the effect will be positive.
ABCD Of REBT
One must understand about REBT’s ABCD model.
A means adversity or a situation from the past, happening in the present, or for a future reference.
B means belief in that same situation which is either rational or irrational, or good or bad.
C means consequence and the outcome of A and B (When an adverse situation happens, the person will then formulate his or her belief on the matter. After that, C will follow, which is the effect of A and B.)
D means a dispute, if and only if B was irrational or wrong. (On this part, the person will realize that what he is thinking or feeling is silly or crazy for him. He will dispute this and say to himself that it is contrary. After that, he will then shift his belief to a positive outlook.
E means effective, where a therapist or counselor can assist in the success of the person’s shift of attitude, belief, and outlook.
Now, going back to the situation above, how must the woman and man act, think, feel, and say? The woman, seeing that the man only washed dishes and didn’t clean up the whole kitchen, must take a deep breath and thank her husband for washing the dishes. She may also add, lovingly and sweetly, that she needs help with kitchen cleaning. The husband may display his disagreement slightly, but he will do it because he wants his wife to be happy. If the wife is happy, the husband is happy too.
“I think that one sign that your relationship is toxic or bad for your mental health is how you feel. If you find that when you are with your partner(s), you often feel down or drained, then it might be time to speak to a third party for some more objective feedback,” –Jor-El Caraballo, LMHC
Now, is that too hard? If you act this way daily, then, there will be no fights. It can very well save your marriage.