If you read advice for a happy relationship, you’ll encounter a jumble of seemingly conflicting pointers: Compromise! Speak your truth! Be willing to give in! Accept your partner for who he or she is! Ask for what you want! Practice patience! Don’t be a doormat! Walk a mile in your spouse’s shoes! Make sure you are heard!
Confusing, right? Like, the other day, my husband was all snarly — grumbling about this and that and just generally spewing negativity out his pores. I thought, “Should I ask him to take his negativity to another room? Or just wait until his mood passes?” And after a month of waiting for him to start painting the house, I wondered, “Nag him about it? Or let it go?” I ended up letting it go and writing a funny post about the experience. Because of that post, many people have asked me: How do you let it go? How can you sort out whether it’s time to speak up versus shut up? When should you confront your spouse? And when should you eat your angry words?
If you are wondering the same, I created this handy chart with the help of my 9-year-old. It will help you figure out whether a confrontation is the only solution to your discontent. As you’ll see, quite often, the solution lies elsewhere — in taking ownership for your own mood and doing something to change it.
Read more of Alisa’s writing at ProjectHappilyEverAfter.com.