How strong is your marital toolbox?
A “marital toolbox” can provide a couple with an arsenal of tools to assist them with problem-solving and the decision making process. Used effectively, this strategy can form the foundation for a healthy marriage. Couples that prepare themselves for difficult situations in advance, often handle these situations better.
Here is an example that will help you in understanding this– the “carpenter toolbox.” Years ago many carpenters built large boxes out of wood to store their tools in. Whether at the workshop, or at the worksite, these toolboxes went with the carpenter. Every tool of importance was placed in this box. No matter what situation came up, the carpenter had what was needed to handle any job or situation.
Like the old carpenter toolbox, the marital toolbox prepares a couple to address many situations. Being in a healthy and thriving marriage requires time, commitment and communication. Married couples need to decide which specific tools should go into their marital toolboxes. Listed below are some ground rules which can assist couples with the tool selection process.
- Respecting your spouse- he/she will have good ideas or insights.
- Willing to hear your spouse’s perspective without interrupting them.
- Entering a discussion without having a pre-determined solution in mind.
- Speaking one at a time when discussing things.
- Taking time-outs from discussions to cool-off, process information, or seek counsel.
- Writing notes when your spouse is speaking so you will not forget what was said.
A marital toolbox consists of husband and wife working together to select the appropriate tools. Participation in such a process assists greatly with future difficult situations. Like the carpenter, a husband and wife need to be able to handle any job or situation they face.
Dave Tice is a licensed professional counselor at the Center with over 6 years of counseling experience. To learn more about Dave, or to set up an appointment click here.