Sometimes couples have a re-occurring disagreement. This can start to impact the good times in the relationship because the subject causing distress always comes up. It can become very frustrating and both people can begin to feel like nothing ever gets accomplished. In these cases, it may make sense to schedule a time to talk about these issues and agree not to discuss the issue outside of these times.
Maybe you dislike her family and each day you bring up the fact of how she seems to care more for her parents than for you. Or maybe he had an affair and although you want to work it out, each day you bring it up because you feel like you are constantly reminded of it. Or maybe he’s been unemployed for a few months and you don’t see him as attempting to find work and you remind him each day to hurry up and find work. These sorts of issues can impact the entire marriage, especially when the subject is brought up constantly.
Often, the person who is feeling hurt will bring up the subject when you are eating dinner, watching television, or doing chores around the house. Basically, any time they begin to think about the subject and their hurt, they may start to talk about it. This can cause the other person to feel frustrated and not want to discuss it. This can lead to the other partner only half listening or refusing to talk about it. This creates a cycle of hurt, anger, and feelings of abandonment.
To break the cycle, discuss setting aside a time to discuss the issue. This might mean two times a week for 30 minutes you will discuss this. Each spouse can ask questions and talk about their feelings in a peaceful manner. Then agree that at the end of 30 minutes you will end the discussion for today and continue it next time. Agree not to discuss the issue outside of those periods.
This can help you enjoy the rest of your week. You can eat dinner without having to discuss a past affair. You can watch television without having to rehash your relationship with your mother. It can be helpful to know that for today, you can just enjoy each other’s company and work on current issues. Then when the time comes, each of you can talk about it and then set it aside until the next scheduled discussion time.