Issues Management - EXTRA THOUGHTS
Taking Time to Foster Trust, Reverence, and Romance
The material in this section can seem overwhelming. It takes extra effort and extra time- more time than you feel you have. This is where you want to think abundance. What do I mean? Tithing, for example (paying 10% of your income to your church, or to a charity) is a double blessing for many a) you get to bless those in need. b) abundance, meaning God will do more with your remaining 90% than you could have done with 100%.
The same is true with issues management. To say, “I don’t have time for this stuff!” is like a workers at a nuclear plant saying, “i don’t have time to sharpen my practice of procedures, clarify life saving protocol or keep accurate records.” On the contrary, avoiding relationship melt downs through a systematic approach to issues management will create much more time - time for fun, productivity family activities and even a little more romance!
Your ability follow protocol is the "Defense Game" mentioned in the Couples GPS introduction. Your "Defense" game is not your defensive game. By mastering CGPS processes you will end the negativity that is keeping you from running down the field, at full speed, toward the life and love you are born to experience (your offense game).
Issues Management Overview
1) Use an issues list. Take your issues to your issues list and to God and your U.S.A. requests to your spouse. Click here for "Issues List." (Note: U.S.A. = Unloaded, Specific and Affirmative)
2) One issue at a time. (unless you want to be dealing with a black hole from which there is no escape.)
3) Talk about issues only if both of you are feeling mutual respect. Note: This does not mean you need to be agreeing with each other. You may never agree on certain things, but you do agree on respect. Obviously this means you don't talk if there is any name calling, anger, sarcasm etc.
Click here for: Managing "Outgoing"
4) Know and follow the "Managing Incoming" and "Managing Outgoing" protocols.
Click here for: Managing "Outgoing"
Click here for: Managing Incoming
5) Almost all conflicts are agreements begging to be made.
Free yourself from the prison of the objective world, who's right and wrong, what the facts actually are etc. Instead, continue in peaceful, respectful conversation until a win/win agreement is reached. Creating truly win/win agreements is the path to peace. This may not occur in just one meeting. But trust me when I say, the peace between you is much more important than reaching the agreement. If peace exists, a win/win solution can always be reached.
Click here for Love Seat (for Defcon 1 issues - High stakes)
Click here for Real Conversation (for Defcon 2 issues - "Medium/rare" stakes)
Click here to read more about Couples Agreements.
7) At all costs, avoid the temptation to bolt.
Miracles await you after the trial of your faith. Everything you want- emotionally and spiritually are through and in (not around) this relationship. Read more here: Creating a path back to your heart
Defcon 1 "Love Seat" (Deep issue, deep understanding, inspired resolutions)
Defcon 2 "Relationship Cleanse", "Walk List", "Real Conversation."
Defcon 3 "Issues List", Nightly Check In & Chit Chat.
Breakthrough, the central peace in issues management.
Managing Outgoing Issues
1) Determine what kind of issue this is.
If this is simply an operational request, see #2, below.
2) Operational requests - possibilities.
i.e. "could you bring in the stuff from the back of the car into my sewing room?", just make the request.
Note, however, that in our busy, multi dimensional lives, it can be helpful and even healing to create some enrollment even with this kind of request i.e. "Honey, I've got something (meaning I've got a request, or something quick to pass on to you etc.). Is this a good time?" or "Honey, can I ask you something?" or "Jim (if you're not calling him Honey, and his name is Jim), there's a couple of things I need to go over. Would this be a good time?" or "When would be a good time?"
3) If this is a "loaded" issue or request, list it on your "Issues list" for now, then unload your story via "Walk List" and/or "Breakthrough."
A "loaded" issue means this issue currently stands as evidence that your spouse either doesn't care about you or your feelings, puts you last, doesn't care about your happiness etc. These kinds of back stories can create a heavy load on what otherwise could be a simple, specific request.
4) After breakthrough work, decide between:
a) Converting your issue to a U.S.A. request during your Nightly Check In & Chit Chat.
b) Inviting your partner into a "Real Conversation" or
c) Inviting your partner to a "Love Seat."
Managing "Outgoing" - Summary
The next time you feel yourself and/or your partner going sideways:
Stop talking. (If necessary, use one of the "Managing incoming" phrases from above. Note: Let your spouse know that you are memorizing these- that this is part of your new personal constitution)..
Put the issue on an issues list.
Start feeling. Feel your guts out. The more you feel, the less you will act out.
Bring your feelings to God. “Come unto me, ye that are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
Work out your feelings with your Heavenly Father (not your spouse). Talking with your spouse should only happen if and when you are both at peace. You could still have fear, but not so much fear that you are removed from peace.