CategoryHow to Find Third Alternatives

When We Disagree about Our Disagreements – Take 2


On Tuesday, I revealed a problem sent in by a reader and asked for suggestions from all of you. As she sees it, and I must agree, the problem is how they address their disagreements. Neither is happy with their approach. As an example of the sort of disagreements they are addressing, she offered one spouse asking the other not to interrupt when the other is speaking slowly. As it turns out, this...

Let Go of the How to Find the Why – Part 2


Third Alternatives almost always exist, even when it looks like there are just two options and each of you can stand only one of them. And to discover them, you let go of the how to find the why. For example, think of Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages. One thrives on Quality Time together, especially time spent in meaningful, soul-revealing conversation. When they first met, there was...

Let Go of the How to Find the Why


When you are looking for Third Alternatives (win-win endings to your disagreements), you must let go of the how to find the why. Let me show you what I mean. One wants to go by car. The other wants to go by plane. Why? One wants to go by car to see the countryside between points A and B. The other wants to go by plane to avoid being the driver on such a long drive. Third Alternatives? Ask a...

3 Ways to Find More Time Together


If you miss having time for fun together or time to talk, here are three quick ways to find more: Make plans in advance. Come up with something to look forward to or just block out the time for something spontaneous. Do in advance all the things that make it so hard to get out the door (or into the bedroom) for something unplanned. Question your givens. If your spouse is often available when your...

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Why Can’t You See This My Way? – Part 3


In Part 3 of this series, I want to address a comment added to Part 1. I want to address it because I remember thinking like the commenter around a dozen years into my first marriage, and it kept me from fixing my marriage or even believing it could be fixed. Here’s the first part of the comment, which Matt wrote but so many others could have, too. Well, since this IS the assume love...

Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.

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