Let's face it: Some topics are trickier than others. Even in the happiest marriages, issues like in-laws, finances, and sex can quickly shake things up.
When tough topics come up, couples can find lots of places to veer into the ditch. Many mistakes come from inexperience as husbands and wives bounce from one conflict to the next, experimenting with various solutions.
When it comes to talking about sensitive topics, some pitfalls are dug way before marriage. If you didn't get the right skills in your family of origin, it's hard to manage conflict with a spouse. The twin ditches of (1) avoiding conflict at any cost and (2) escalating into chaos are often more familiar than the path itself.
Even engaged couples need to begin communicating and making decisions as if it will affect the rest of their marriage—because that's exactly what will happen. One couple encountered this challenge while preparing to choose a china pattern. The bride's mother assumed she'd go with her daughter to make the selection; the fiancé recognized this as his privilege and responsibility. Fortunately, communicating these expectations early on opened the door to greater harmony in the future.
In addition to the old habits you bring into a marriage, new challenges can quickly crop up. Even the idyllic honeymoon phase can raise a number of touchy topics. A major purchase or holiday tradition can seem bigger than your relationship if you aren't prepared.
How can you prepare yourself to talk about those sticky subjects? Here are three suggestions.
Talking about sensitive issues isn't easy, but it can make your marriage the vehicle that drives both of you closer to God. And two people with the same destination can't help but move closer to each other, too.