Well, the idea grew out of an argument. A big one. Yes, we “happy couples” fight too! In fact, we fight quite a bit (it’s Carol here, although Anna admits a good “care-frontation” with her spouse now and again). In case any readers are feeling disappointed, remember: reserach shows that happy couples can fight a lot (it’s how they handle their disagreements that makes a difference!).

Our (Bruess couple) latest “handling” of conflict looks something like this: Make a list. On the white board. In the basement. In the corner. Where we each check in periodically and perhaps more now since the “list” is new and fresh and in the just-initated phase. On the list you jot things (key words, phrases, whole paragraphs) that irritate you, jab you, rub you, warm you. Things that make you CRAZY. And things that make you smile. But mostly, the list is designed to highlight things that aren’t quite right at the moment (of the “when you walk OVER the dirty clothes which have come down the laundry shoot and landed just inches from the basket but you don’t actually pick them up, I think I’m going to SCREAM” variety). Or, one that I’m confident is going to be on my husband’s list sometime today or tomorrow: “Selling the sofa and chairs without telling me and buying new ones.” Oops. Good point. Not a good idea of a “surprise” (despite my best intentions. Honestly. I had good motives, honey).

Happy couple or not: we ALL have things that make us “slightly irritated.” Why not find a way (a visual and ever-developing-but-easily-erasable list) to get them addressed and expressed?

I’ll keep you posted on how ours goes.

(And I’ll be sure to post a photo when our new sofa arrives!)