Marriage Resource Center of Illinois Valley

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Relationship Myths
and why you should be glad they are not true

       Sometimes you might wish your spouse wasn't communicating, but they always are.  The trick of the successful poker player is to NOT communicate. It is very difficult to not communicate. You naturally get excited when you get a good hand or nervous when you are bluffing. Without training, these emotions show. The veteran player will look for "tells" in their opponents that communicate what the opponent is holding. A nervous habit or change in behavior may indicate an opponent is bluffing. A sudden dilation of the pupil or increased breathing rate may indicate an extraordinarily good hand. People can't help but communicate about what they are thinking and feeling.  


      Here is one type of communication that will help you work with your spouse. How can you tell when your spouse is ready to make up after a fight? Just like in poker, people signal their readiness to make up. Some couples verbalize some sort of apology in order to signal the fight is over and some couples never really verbalize an official apology, but just gradually the ice thaws. But here is the thing. Your spouse has a "tell": a behavior or more likely behaviors that signal that the ice is beginning to thaw. Next time you have a fight see if you can identify that little clue that the fight is over. Maybe it is a look or a smile or even just a random question about your day. 


      Couples that stay together don't necessarily need to learn to NOT fight. Conflict happens in all relationships. But successful couples learn how to end fights.