If you’re upset and your heart is pumping like crazy, you won’t hear anything your spouse is saying, no matter how hard your spouse tries. It’s impossible to have good conversations like this.
That’s because once the amygdala—the unconscious part of your brain responsible for the fight or flight response—is set off, there can’t be any meaningful conversation until you calm down.
It’s often said that marriage is about sacrifice and compromise. That doesn’t sound so great, does it? The reality is, though, that in much of your marriage, you will be in constant agreement to do something, one way or another, with more than a large gray area in between.
This can be anything from picking where to go out for dinner, to where you will go on vacation this year, and similar things. Or it can mean more serious decisions, like moving across the country because your partner got a promotion, and now you have to leave your friends and family behind. Agreeing to do something, when done properly, can enhance a feeling of connection and harmony, while the opposite leads to frustration, anger, depression, and all sorts of really toxic behaviors.
Have you ever met someone who just seemed to end your every thought with “but?” It starts to get annoying, right? It feels like nothing you say is valid, because they know better.
It seems that in our society every other sentence contains the word ‘but’. The other person says something, and we soon follow with a big ‘but.’ Beware, though. ‘But’ is a little word with big consequences.