Winners and Losers in Marriage

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Most every couple I’ve ever worked with have the same bottom line issue. They don’t really think the other person cares for them that much. They base that belief on their partner’s external behavior that gets translated into their own internal experience.

However, external behavior is often defensive. It can be very guarded. When behavior is defensive, it muddies the water about what’s really going on inside.

  • So that’s really what I do.
  • I translate from male to female and from female to male.
  • And it works it works really, really well.

Years ago I had a tag line that said, “OC Christian Counseling: a safe place to talk things through.” Then as I moved into helping couples more exclusively, my personal tagline became “I help the boy win back his girl.”

Translation is the ability to take what he’s saying and put it into words that she can understand. That really helps him win his girl back.

That’s why men like me. Because I’m helping them win their girl back.

A few years later one of the women that had been seeing me with her husband actually said, “I think you need to change your tagline from ‘I help the boy win back his girl’ to ‘I help women get what they want.’”

That’s the beauty of the whole thing! Everybody wins.

No winner and no loser. Because if you have a winner and a loser in marriage – whether it’s just a simple argument that you win, or if it’s the war you’re trying to win – then the truth is everybody loses.

There’s no way to have a marriage where one person wants to win all the time.

You’ve probably heard this before: “Do you want to be right, or do you want to be loved?”

It isn’t about being right.
It’s really about being understood.
That’s the goal.

The men in my own life puzzle me, too.

Because just like you, I get caught up in my own emotions. I have to pull back sometimes and say, “Wait a minute now, Dr. Debi. You got to think this through. You know about men. What is really going on here?”

It takes wisdom and practice to understand where a guy’s coming from. Then it makes a lot of sense, and it changes how we respond to them.

  • If we think he’s being a jerk, if we think he’s a narcissist, and/or that he’s stonewalling us or whatever, and we don’t understand what’s really going on?
  • Those two things in particular (anger and withdrawal) have to do with being flooded emotionally for men.
  • Sometimes it’s the desire that Christian man have to be the leader in the family. Sometimes men can come across as narcissistic, but it’s really not. It’s him trying to figure out, “How in the world do I lead? How do I get done what I feel like I need to be doing?

If wives challenge their husbands a lot, what are the men supposed to do? It’s really hard!

As women, we need to figure out how to partner with men. That’s really what I want to do, what I love to teach woman about.