I am going to start this out by telling a story that has some very valuable lessons.
I was at a friend’s house and she had another girlfriend over. This girlfriend was talking about how she was upset because her husband had seemed obsessed lately working in the garage on his motorcycle She felt neglected and had expressed through complaining and nagging that he was spending too much time on his hobby. She then proceeded to share her story and said “Do you know what he did the other night? My friend responded saying “no ..what?” “The kids and I got home the other night and he had cooked dinner and set the table and even set out candles.”
I don’t know about you but I was thinking “wow…how sweet”….Nope not her…..she continued with ……”how dare he think think that one dinner is going to make up for all those hours out in the garage working on that thing of his…..I showed him…I walked out!!!!”
You don’t know how many times I hear stories exactly like this one. You may be just like her and feel that “well he did this to me…I am going to do that to him” Or you may be as shocked I was and be amazed that she just took that olive branch that he was reaching out to her and burning it right up.
She was apparently very attached to an outcome and her outcome was that he get rid of that bike. When dealing with conflict, we can see here how it can be really detrimental to be attached to a particular outcome. If we are, we do a couple of things.
We completely miss the olive branches and the attempts of repair that our partner extends or
We do not allow for the third option.
The third option is imperative when one partner wants one thing and another partner wants another. For him to have given up his motorcycle would have been a great loss for him and probably have caused some great resentment and for him to keep it with no regard to her or how his time with his bike was making her feel was absolutely leaving her with a great deal of contempt which is one of the greatest marriage breakers.
So instead of it being my way or the highway or only your way, what is the third option? How can we get creative and come up with something that works as a win/win for both parties.
I am always in favor of a win’win instead of compromise, because compromise usually means someone loses and then the solution rarely sticks.
What I thought of in this situation was that he pick a time during the week that he could work on his bike such as maybe one day after work or Saturday morning and then make sure that there was some special family time or date time planned with the family every week. He wins because he keeps the bike and she wins because she gets some special time. There may be many different ideas here. Do you have any? Can you think of something you have had conflict over that may need a third option?
This may take some time and some brainstorming but the third option if all too often there.
Here is my #TogethernessTuesday Video on this same topic! Enjoy!