Tagthird alternative

The Difference Between a Disagreement and a Fight


You ask for something. Your husband or wife says no or asks for something different. This is a disagreement. A disagreement may actually be a good thing. So what turns a disagreement into a fight? You demand, pout, withdraw affection, insinuate, or put forth perfectly rational arguments that result in your mate demaning, pouting, insinuating or taking up sides against you in a debate. Unless the...

Is It a Third Alternative or Just Alternative 1.5?


You have a disagreement with your spouse or life partner. You want one thing. We will call it Alternative 1. Your mate wants something else. Because I am a stickler for symmetry, we will call it Alternative 2. Alternatives 1 and 2 For example, Alternative 1 might be the toilet paper you grew up with and Alternative 2 might be a new, greener brand your husband or wife prefers. If you two choose...

Love and Fear, Part II


Becky Blanton posted this comment on Facebook in reply to my Love and Fear post, and I want everyone to see the answer, because it’s such a great question. I wanted Mexican, my friend wanted Chinese. Using your Third Alternatives I suggested getting take-out at both and having a picnic. My friend pouted and insisted on Chinese or nothing at all. I’ve since dumped selfish, annoying...

Love and Fear


Fear drives out love. That tense knot in your chest keeps your heart from melting when it should. Disagreements create fear, both fear of needing to give up being yourself to stay married and fear of losing the kindnesses, respect, shared moments, courage, and teamwork that marriage offers. Third Alternatives end the disagreement, end the fear, and let love flow. One of the best ways to stay in...

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Bad Days Happen in Every Marriage


When I get upset with my husband, I sometimes come to Assume Love to remember what I’m supposed to do about it. Here are two of the quotes I find very helpful. Twice now, I have been blessed to have love in my life. Love includes some side benefits that lighten the load of living, but when we specify which ones with our expectations, I’ve learned we drive away the love. [August 2006]...

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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