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Would it be appropriate to suggest that couples with difficulty having enjoyable conversation try a few low stress dates to prime the pump? For example - a mutually enjoyable movie (or play) followed by coffee- the movie supplies an easy conversation starter for the coffee portion of the date.

Or does that defeat the purpose of fulfilling IC?

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The dates should all be low stress!

Are you familiar with the four friends and four enemies of good conversation?


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Yes, but I think some people are unclear about how to start a good conversation. Especially if they are in a state of unproductive conflict.

My husband and I discuss the news, articles, music, movies, etc. The beauty is this lends variety to the conversation. It flows rather than sputtering. All of our dates of low stress and fun. But I also don't think that every single conversation needs to address marital problems. The vibe from several recent threads is that conflicts are the only topic in which the posters and their spouses really engage. I was thinking to post a tip but wanted to run it past someone that has posted more.

Background: Our premarital counseling was based on HNHN so we have always used the techniques. But I never felt like posting on the forum before.

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IS TIme is a call to act and more importantly to show ourselves and our spouse our better selves. To act out of love whether we feel love or not. It's a very high calling and at times can be the hardest thing to be done.

Negotiating conflict is separate. Yes lots of us fall into the trap of engaging in conflict management while in Ua time. The of course IS time and rebuilding the marriage and a sense of compatibility is lost.

The old me thought I had to straighten my husband out pronto because was in pain due to his behaviour.


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"Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one...It will not be broken, it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable...The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from dangers and perturbations of love is Hell" c.s. lewis
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Originally Posted by apples123
All of our dates of low stress and fun. But I also don't think that every single conversation needs to address marital problems. The vibe from several recent threads is that conflicts are the only topic in which the posters and their spouses really engage. I was thinking to post a tip but wanted to run it past someone that has posted more.

Dates should not be spent discussing conflicts. UA time is supposed to be spent meeting the top 4 intimate emotional needs following the guidelines in the 4 friends of good conversation. Dates are not supposed to be stressful.


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Apple's,
Really cool your pre marital counsel followed HNHN. Huge head start. How long married? How is it going?


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"Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one...It will not be broken, it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable...The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from dangers and perturbations of love is Hell" c.s. lewis
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I appreciate the notion of a UA date where the experience itself might not meet the criteria for UA time such as a movie for example which in of itself does not allow undivided attention. Still the experience like you said might become a bonding tool and give the couple something to discuss at a later point. And this might become a vehicle to discuss rather than conflict.

I followed this logic through out a big chunk of my marriage. From my own xperience and Dr Harleys advise you only want to make such plans after UA time is planned for.

I believe we crippled our marriage in that we learned parallel lives. My husband can easily get distracted away from the purpose of UA time. He would enjoy the movie or whatever but not make an effort to talk about it more often. In short for us it became misleading. My husband does not look at things in the same way I do!


Last edited by graceful2b; 12/02/14 09:43 AM.

BW 58
WH 61
married 35 years
2 adult children
2 grandchildren

"Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one...It will not be broken, it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable...The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from dangers and perturbations of love is Hell" c.s. lewis
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Quote
I appreciate the notion of a UA date where the experience itself might not meet the criteria for UA time such as a movie for example which in of itself does not allow undivided attention. Still the experience like you said might become a bonding tool and give the couple something to discuss at a later point. And this might become a vehicle to discuss rather than conflict.

I followed this logic through out a big chunk of my marriage. From my own xperience and Dr Harleys advise you only want to make such plans after UA time is planned for.
Exactly. Doing things like going to a movie together is okay, but you can't count it as your UA. It needs to be done in ADDITION to the planned UA hours.


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Originally Posted by graceful2b
Apple's,
Really cool your pre marital counsel followed HNHN. Huge head start. How long married? How is it going?

9 years and really well. We're always surprised by how casually other people treat their marriages. Of course, ours is much better than most, and people assume it is because we are DINKs. But you all know that isn't the reason.

Dr. Harley seemed to be the only author who didn't think the answer all marital disagreements was for one of us to give in. Haha, you should have seen us picking out our china, the Dillard's people thought we were nuts! We were there for about 2 hours debating!

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Originally Posted by Prisca
Quote
I appreciate the notion of a UA date where the experience itself might not meet the criteria for UA time such as a movie for example which in of itself does not allow undivided attention. Still the experience like you said might become a bonding tool and give the couple something to discuss at a later point. And this might become a vehicle to discuss rather than conflict.

I followed this logic through out a big chunk of my marriage. From my own xperience and Dr Harleys advise you only want to make such plans after UA time is planned for.
Exactly. Doing things like going to a movie together is okay, but you can't count it as your UA. It needs to be done in ADDITION to the planned UA hours.

Thank you, that is the element I was missing.


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