February 11, 2015
As the old adage goes: if you drop a frog in hot water it immediately jumps out. However, if it starts in cold water and the heat is gradual, it stays. . . for an unhappy ending!
What do hot water and frogs have to do with relationships? The temperature in a relationship can gradually increase to an unhealthy level with unresolved issues. One partner might be unaware of the increasing danger created by these issues. They may either not understand the importance of the issue, thinking “they will get over it, it will pass”, or not have the skill or energy to address the problem. For couples who avoid conflict, this can be a significant danger.
The question is, “How do I address issues when my partner does not understand how significant this is to me?” Early in our marriage, my wife got my attention. I was not taking her concerns seriously and was barging full speed ahead with my plan. She said, “If you go ahead with this plan, I will not be here when you get back.” That got my attention.
Questions to ask:
- Can you help me understand why this is significant to you?
- How do you feel when I do this?
- Are there “Frog in the Water” issues in our relationship, that are heating up?
State the importance:
- On a scale of 1-10 this is a 10 for me.
- I feel irrelevant when this happens.
- If we don’t address this issue, I’m afraid of what how it will affect our relationship.