Making use of this PRP is one of the ways that you can show care and respect for your spouse. Certainly, when there are challenging topics that you want to address you want to ensure there is enough time to do so. But, this principle goes beyond determining if there is enough time to discuss the topic. There are some topics that a couple may only need a few minutes to discussion from a very logical perspective, but because the topic is an emotionally charged one for either the husband or the wife, sufficient time and care needs to be considered. For example, as he was walking out of the door this morning John told Susan that he thinks they should wait a few more years to have a child. Susan, was getting ready for work, but then stopped and became frustrated. Although they had not talked about children recently, Susan was under the impression from the last few talks that they were going to try to start a family soon. So, while John is at the office now. Susan, who actually started getting ready for work before John is still at home and she feels as though in announcing that he wants to postpone having children, John has been unfair. She feels that it’s unfair for two reasons: (1) that’s not what they had previously agreed on, and (2) she feels that he dumped this very difficult, emotional news on her and left her there to deal with the emotional aftermath by herself. She feels emotionally abandoned. Although the roles could have been reversed, with John wanting to have children now and Susan wanting to wait, or the scenario could have been different, the point is that it’s important to know your spouse. When you’re considering initiating a talk about a potentially emotional topic it’s important to ask: Is it fair to bring up this topic now? Will my mate be able to process it now? Will we be able to process it together?
Today’s passionate relationship principle (PRP) is embodied in the question: Is it fair to bring up this topic now?
Dr. Simon – The Relationship Doctor at Center for Passionate Relationships (CPR)