Sometimes Nathan and I hit a point of being stuck on an issue. We listen to each other, try talking it out for a good while, and still find that neither of us can budge from our stance.
Stuck is when I hear his words but they don’t change my thinking at all. I’m not feeling them. I so hate it when we are not on the same page.
When I get stuck, I have some choices.
One is to move on and pretend it never happened. Might seem okay in the beginning. Might even feel like forgiving and forgetting, and hey, that’s good right? Here’s the problem with that:
It did happen, and that wall that the two of us hit is gonna stay right there. The more walls we build up, the farther the distance between us. Each tiny place where we make the choice to be okay staying stuck will keep us from having the muscle to work through the “stuck” on big issues.
So how do you get unstuck?
I wish I had a fool-proof answer. I don’t. But I can tell you some things that have helped me.
1. Refuse to stay stuck.
Recognize that you are stuck, and refuse to be okay with that. It may take hours, days or weeks to understand each other, but decide that it will be worth it.
2. Make extra time to navigate the stuck.
These aren’t conversations you want to have lingering around the dinner table or in the 5 minutes between two errands. It will take work that won’t be fun. But make the time.
3. Continue showing the love.
Being stuck can make me feel mad at him and mad at me. I don’t wanna deal with it. But as long as we are still devoting time to work on the issue, we can continue to have fun together and love each other well in all the other areas. We don’t have to put all the other good stuff on hold while we navigate this.
4. Ask for help.
In our most recent case, we asked another couple. They mostly just listened, asked questions that guided our discussions and then carefully offered us a few suggestions and feedback. It definitely helped us navigate things better.
If you work at it but you are still stuck, you could always work through it with a professional.
One thing I know for sure: Getting unstuck will be worth it in the end. Do the work and don’t settle.