For those interested, I wanted to make some observations of the effect of taking the couples course has had on our relationship. To start....nothing but positive things to say here.
Cue words to avoid conflict were hugely helpful initially to stop arguments and fights. The end result ended up with not needing them after very long. In fact....the need for our cue word "friend"....was only of use for the first month or so. It might still be useful....but what I have found is that when the conversation starts heading into one of those familiar directions....I tell my wife " hey....we've never successfully resolved this one before. Let's put this in a box and put into storage permanently...and one day when the time comes.....we'll know it when we get there." And we avoid that topic completely. These things are not logistical topics. They have more to do with each one of our personal challenges that were never going anywhere anyway and have no real relevance other than either one us don't really like this "thing" about each other all that much. Call it personality quirks or what ever. No real change is needed here other than to just ignore and accept it and just it let it go. It's just who we are but it doesn't hurt anything or is really causing a problem.
Learning conversations are really great any time I feel like my wife is not understanding me. I've got it practices enough that it know becoming second nature and I can incorporate my own version of doing the same thing and not feel so robotic and stiff in doing it. That was easy and it served the same purpose. to avoid conflict what so ever. A funny reversal that I have found...... is in the control aspect between my wife and I. This is not a problem....just a funny observation. For those who might have read my countless examples of my frustration with my wife's rather intense "need to control her environment"...I don't need to reexplain this....for those who haven't....I think I just did. lol
So now from our communicating and ability to talk about anything without being a fight....or especially when I try and tell my wife something that she is doing with any hint of criticism (imagined or real lol ) which caused her to shut down and get defensive.....she's now started listening to me and not reacting the way she did before. This is the funny part. She tends to clean as she goes every where to a degree that is difficult for me to keep up with. This is also the area where I'm learnin to do better in and it is getting better with practice however.....I doubt I will ever go as far as she goes since my observation of her is that....her need to do this is somewhat anxiety driven and not to be just neat and tidy. She looks uptight and not relaxed if things are not exactly right (a bit OCD I do believe).
For me to match her....I would have to become that way myself and that's the last thing I want to do! yikes! But I'm getting to the point I do it enough....that will ease her anxiety to the point that she is becoming more relaxed about it all and I have to say in a glowingly postive way on my wife's behalf.....she has moved a great deal and compromised from where she was before even if she says to me she doesn't feel any different and can't see it? That pretty much says it all right there.
So anyway.....when she starts to clean up after me.....I'm the one who has to stop her and tell her NOT to and I do it right then so it gets done and she doesn't do it. She's so use to picking things up....she can't stop doing it even though she doesn't want to! lol And what I've found is where before....she was trying to control me.....now I have to control her and stop her from doing the thing she was complaining about doing? It seems....I have two things I have to do now. One is stopping her from picking up after me....and the other one is actually picking up after myself which I'm doing.....as long as I can catch her first! lol
She's the fastest gun in the west when it comes to cleaning and picking up and I have to be even faster in stopping her. In an odd way....this helps me clean up faster myself even though that was not by design and not the goal how this ended up happening. This is all not a problem of course because my wife will stop without a problem every time I force her to allow me to pick up after myself. The communication and not getting in a fight over the "stopping her" part is why this is able to happen.
She now listens to me when I say...."Don't do my job for me....how am I ever going to get any practice if you do it for me." Which now after seeing the results.....she lets that go with a smile and even jokes about it now:) In fact this morning she said...."maybe you should just smack me in the head now every time I do that." She's speak'in my lingo now:)
The love between us that was getting covered up with superfluous arguing over these things is finally clearing the way to progress and that makes us both feel good about each other. I think the reason for that is the trust factor that is finally sinking in on my wife's ability to allow it to happen instead believing that it won't. Seeing is believing but she needed to tust me enough to allow it to happen to see it in the first place:)