The Web Sage
Copyright © 2002 by Joe Freeman. All rights reserved.
Do You Have A Code?
Do you ever get into a disagreement (argument) with your mate and wonder how did all this get started? Do you wish you had a way that these situations could be avoided or at least minimized? What you need is a code that you and your mate understand that will communicate your current feelings or misunderstandings.
Author J. Keith Miller tells the story of he and his wife shortly after they were married. He was helping her cook and she asked him to cut up the onion. He started cutting the onion into rings but she insisted that he chop the onion. He didn’t see that it mattered how the onion was cut. This lead to an argument before they realized it. Now they use the onion as a code. Whenever one of them feels the discussion doesn’t make sense or does not warrant this level of discussion, they will say, ‘this smells like an onion to me’.
My wife read an article in Readers Digest ( Is Marriage Hard Work?) that suggested viewing your mate's faults as ‘cute’. We have evolved that concept to cover escalating feelings about one another’s behavior. We continue to describe each others faults or behavior as ‘cute’. We simply say ‘you're cute’ or ‘that’s cute’. The tone of voice will always differentiate the meaning from the valid compliment of ‘cute’.
Should the level of behavior continue, the description of our feelings about that behavior may escalate to another level of frustration which we describe as ‘adorable’. Again we simply say ‘you're adorable’ or ‘that’s adorable’.
The final level of frustration that describes our feelings is ‘precious’. When one of us reaches this level and says ‘you're precious’, that’s a code which means I am getting very frustrated or I have reached my limit and I am struggling to remain in control of my emotions. At this point the other person must respect that boundary and stop the offending behavior or whatever they are doing that is causing the frustrations.
There must be a level of trust in the relationship for this to work. This concept will not work when it is used as an attempt to control the other person and to keep from talking about the relationship. When it is used properly, it can defuse an issue and prevent an explosion of feelings and emotions.
- Joe Freeman
Marriage is the alliance of two
people, one of whom never
remembers birthdays and the
other never forgets them.
It is very difficult to live among people you love and hold back from offering them advice.
A good marriage
is one which allows for change and growth
in the individuals
and in the way they express their love.