Change is especially difficult in our most important relationships You will find challenges in implementing a new way of interacting with each other over the issues that cause you and your spouse so much pain. It is normal for you to struggle with the change, and in fact it can be even more difficult to make the change stick.
You did not always know how to tie your shoelaces. In fact, there was a time when you did not know that you did not know how to tie your shoelaces. You were fine with not tying shoelaces. You were unconsciously incompetent at tying shoelaces.
One day you realized, perhaps watching another child tie his own shoelaces, that you did not know how to tie your shoelaces. You became uncomfortable that you did not know to tie your shoelaces, so you began trying to learn to tie your shoelaces. At that moment you were consciously incompetent in tying shoelaces.
You began working with your mother, or perhaps an older sibling or other adult, to learn to tie your shoelaces. There were times as you attempted to tie your shoelaces that you became very frustrated, and maybe even cried. But you were motivated, and you stayed with it. You purposefully had to think about every part of the shoelace-tying process to successfully tie your shoelaces. Sometimes you made several attempts to successfully tie your shoelaces, and you were eventually able to tie your shoelaces every single time. During this period, you were consciously competent in tying shoelaces.
Today you are able to tie your shoelaces while watching a television program and carrying on a conversation with a friend by phone at the same time. You may not even remember tying your shoelaces, even though the evidence exists that you did. You do not have to think through it anymore. Now, you are unconsciously competent in tying shoelaces.
If you are aware of the skills you lack to have a positive successful relationship you have made the transition from being unconsciously incompetent to consciously incompetent. You know you do not know something that you needed to know, and you want to know how to do something that you have seen other people in successful relationships doing.
Now as you look for and try out new skills you are in the period of becoming consciously competent. This period is difficult, because it takes energy and attention to detail to try and try again to become competent in this new skill. It will be hard, but very much worth it. What is awesome about this learning process is that if you keep practicing it, there will come a day when you are unconsciously competent, and you will practice these skills without thinking about it!
We want to encourage you to continue to develop skills, like the skills of Speaking and Hearing Truth that we teach in the book “The Secret to Lifetime Love“. As you continue to develop the skill, eventually the skills will become second nature to you. You will have a stronger, deeper, and more committed marriage, because you will be able to talk about any issue with your spouse in a way that focuses on resolution of the problems and your future together. We have witnessed couples using these skills to work through issues including money, sex, parenting, in-laws, recreation, chores, faith, and other areas.
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This article was written by Roy and Devra Wooten, authors of “The Secret to a Lifetime Love”. Learn more at www.LifeTogetherForever.com © Roy and Devra Wooten 2017. All Rights Reserved. You may replicate this article as long as it is provided free to recipients and includes appropriate attribution. Written permission for other use may be obtained at Secret@LifeTogetherForever.com.