When the two of you are not under the same roof, working on your marriage becomes a challenge. The ease at which you can bring things up is no longer possible. It takes making special arrangements to discuss things that used to be discussed when you saw each other. It would be nice for the two of you to be under the same roof, where you both could talk through the problems. Although it would be nice, for some couples, being under the same roof is not a workable option.
When your communication and discussion of problems is more destructive than constructive or when tempers flare to the point where threats are made or when violence is brought in, then being under the same roof is not the best option. Making excuses by telling yourself that your or your spouse ‘just get a little worked up’, or ‘we are just passionate’ or ‘I was just being honest (even though you may have been mean spirited)’ fools your spouse and yourself. If during the course of your fighting, the kids and pets run and hide, it is not a good sign. They know instinctively to ‘run for the hills’ when the peace of the home is threatened. You may not see how intimidating you can be. Try recording yourself or looking at yourself in a mirror the next time you have a heated discussion. You will then see and hear what your spouse experiences. If it is not pleasant and loving (and yes, you can be direct and loving), then your problem solving may need some changes.
If hands are put on each other in anger, putting the both of you under the same roof is making a mistake. A hostile environment can also be created with verbal threats, name calling and mean spirited personal attacks. Keep in mind that your comments may be hurting your spouse more than you realize. They may be acting strong during the discussion. If you are gauging what you do and say based on the responsiveness of your spouse, you are using the wrong standard. The goal is to communicate, NOT forcing them to agree with your version of things.
Nothing in this Work is intended to replace common sense, legal, medical or other professional advice. If your situation warrants it, please seek competent professional counsel.