Friday, September 11, 2009

Marriage Tip: Eye Contact

The location that Jen and I argue most often is in the car. Why is that, you ask? Well, I believe that it has to do with eye contact. When we are in the car, we are both sitting forward or looking out the window. It is impossible to have much eye contact while at the same time focusing on driving. (Unless, of course, we want to sacrifice our skillful driving abilities in order to communicate better. For the sake of pedestrians and the other vehicles on the road, I should think not.)

And then, as we continue the argument all the way to the end of the journey, which includes parking the car and walking into our home, I have noticed something. With all of my anger and frustration spilling out onto Jen, I continue to look away from her. I still do not make eye contact, even though we are out of the car.

It's easy to argue with someone when you don't look them in the eye (it's easy for me, anyway). So I have been trying a new arguing strategy with my wife. Whenever this happens, I try to sit down with her and resolve the argument while looking into her eyes. I ask her to look into my eyes too. It's hard not to want to resolve the argument when we do that because when I look into her eyes I remember how much I love her and how much I would rather be at peace with her instead of at war.

It seems to help quite a bit. For me, anyway. I don't know about her, though. Some other times I have tried holding her hand while arguing, but she hates that. :-) It's fun and fascinating to learn about your spouse and see what works and what doesn't. I'm glad I have the rest of my life to figure out the best ways to communicate with her.

Yes, I know the image is a little creepy. Try to ignore that fact. After all, I did crop the picture from a happy photo.

Riedlblog label: Marriage