The “Married at First Sight” couples (2 out of 3) have moved in together and they now must learn to adjust to the new reality of living with a spouse. Merging two lives isn’t an easy thing for any couple, much less someone you are just met.
Managing conflict is an integral part of marriage and the couples dove right in, having difficult conversations this week.
Derek and Heather
When trying to determine exactly what is going wrong in a situation, things can quickly go awry. Finding the truth is difficult when you have two people with different perceptions of the facts. It becomes essential to avoid the case of who is right and who is wrong. If the quest is to be right, opportunity is missed to hear another perspective.
One way to get around this is to ask the question, “What if my perception is wrong?” When we open ourselves up to curiosity and asking questions, we are able to see the situation from another lens.
Understanding where someone else is coming from does not mean we have to change who we are. It means letting go of our assumption of rightness. Only then can we fully embrace another person’s viewpoint and look for ways to to problem solve together.
In order for Derek and Heather to resolve their conflict, it’s vital to look at the situation with no blame or judgement. Forgiveness is a critical element to moving forward and finding a resolution. In the meeting with Pastor Cal, Derek committed to staying married for the six weeks. Will Heather follow through with her commitment?
Nick and Sonia
Feelings are at the core of all difficult conversations. They can build relationships up or tear them down.
The key seems to be in managing feelings. Easier said than done, right? Especially when you are just beginning your journey with someone. It takes a foundation of trust to let down your walls and let them in. Expressing emotions is scary and leaves us feeling vulnerable.
To understand feelings, we must first acknowledge and understand where they are coming from. Only then can we express ourselves, share our story and allow the other person to get to know who we really are. Trust develops when both people feel honored, valued and listened to in a relationship.
Getting married to a stranger is the ultimate relationship risk. Freely expressing yourself and being vulnerable is the ultimate personal risk. Will Nick and Sonia take that risk and learn the best way to satisfy their very different languages of love?
Tom and Lilly
Our own identity is at the center of every conflict. When we feel personally challenged, it’s natural to become anxious or uneasy. It makes us examine who we are and what we value most in life. What will we have to change? Do we even want to change?
Each person brings negotiables and non-negotiables to a relationship. First, we have to know who we are and what we want in life. Compromise allows certain parts of our identity to be fluid. What each of us considers a deal-breaker is something that fundamentally defines us, making it difficult to concede.
It’s hard to wait when frustration sets in, but waiting to discuss critical issues is key. Plan a time with no distractions, when both can speak to the heart of the matter and share what is important. Remember that agreement takes two people. We cannot change someone unless they are willing to change.
Tom and Lilly have been great at compromising thus far. Decisions of where to live and whether to have children are vital issues for them to come to an agreement on. Is six weeks enough time to make those life-altering decisions?