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   Home  > Articles

First Aid for Marriage

By Eric Bird of Family College for Marriage Resource

Try to avoid taking sides

One partner may be better known to you than the other. Don't take sides. Remain impartial and give each one a fair hearing. One may seem to be the victim, the other the abuser - but don't jump to conclusions. We must try to see things from each point of view, and may never be really sure who is right and who is wrong.

Is one right and one wrong?

Are they both right: and both wrong?

Think about this couple:

  • If she has an affair because he spends his spare time at the pub without her and comes home drunk - who is in the wrong?
  • If he goes to the pub because she always nags him and puts him down and rejects him, who is in the wrong?
  • If she resents him because as soon as they got married he started taking her for granted, admiring other women, criticising her cooking and never offering help with anything, who's in the wrong?
  • If, contrary to the advice of friends and parents, she married him after only knowing him a few weeks, who's in the wrong?

One spouse may be more ready to talk than the other. Try, if possible, to hear both points of view. Rarely, if ever, is a situation completely one-sided. Part of the problem is that people find it difficult to see the other's point of view, so don't make it worse by taking sides.

If you listen to each of them separately you'll be amazed at the difference between their points of view. If you listen to them together try to give each of them the chance to say their piece. Explain to them, if necessary, that in order to help, you must avoid taking sides.

What is expected of me?

Listening


In this article
- Can I really help?
- What is expected of me?
- Try to avoid taking sides
- Listening
- Where are they coming from, and where do they want to go?
- Different is not necessarily wrong
- Handling conflict
- Life events
- Intimacy
- What next?
- A special kind of help

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