Marriage Monday: Still Processing! 

A decision needs to be made. A problem needs to be solved. Feelings are shared. Maybe even with a hint of frustration. Questions about how we will find a solution are thrown out there. And then…silence. Yup, this is a scenario that has happened in our marriage and maybe in yours too.

Todd and I are both internal processors. As internal processors, we prefer to make decisions and sort through our feelings and facts in private. And, that often takes some time. I lean toward this way of processing even more than Todd. My silence doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about it. It doesn’t mean I forgot about our discussion. It doesn’t mean I didn’t find our conversation valuable. It just means I need to have time to reflect all by myself for a while. Maybe hours. Maybe even days.

Can you see how that may be frustrating to a spouse if the spouse is what’s called an external processor? An external processor wants to talk aloud. He wants to have conversation, talk through those facts and feelings with another person. Can you see how that could be frustrating for the spouse who wants to have some quiet time to consider things on her own?

As an internal processor, I need to be sure to communicate to my spouse that I have not forgotten about the important conversation; I am simply still thinking on it. And as an external processor, I need to be conscious about not overtalking; I need to provide him an opportunity to reflect quietly if that is what he needs.

Neither of these are “correct”. They are simply different. In order to respond to our spouse properly, it’s important for us to understand what type of processor our spouse is. Otherwise, their way of processing really could drive us a little nuts. 

Do you prefer to wrestle with facts and feelings on your own, within the silence of your own mind, as you come up with an answer to a decision? Or, do you prefer to verbally hash out your facts and feelings with your spouse or someone else as you come up with your answer?

As we remember that neither one of these are “correct”, here are a few intentional marriage tips you can try this week to improve your communication with your spouse.

Have a wonderful week, and take some time to check out the marriage tips below.  I would love to hear how you made the decision to have those difficult conversations because you acknowledged your marriage was worth it. Please feel free to leave a comment or question on the form below, or connect with me on Facebook and Instagram. And if you found this blog helpful, please remember to “like” it; it helps to get the article out to more couples. Thanks! Here are the tips for the week.

Intentional Tips for Strengthening your Marriage this Week:

*Take time to identify whether you are an internal processor an external processor

*See if your spouse will do the same

*Discuss your thoughts on this topic with your spouse

*If your spouse is an internal processor, ask him if he feels you allow him the time he needs to process his thoughts

*If your spouse is an external processor, ask him if he feels he has adequate time to discuss and work through his feelings before he makes decisions

*Decide with your spouse what the two of you could do to respect the processing needed for the other spouse

Todd and I learned about this topic during our Marriage Mentoring Training with Mark and Jill Savage. You can find more about this in their book No More Perfect Marriages, available on Amazon.

Misty Cramer is an author & speaker who recently released her first book. The Every Day God, 40 Daily Devotions for Walking with God through Everyday Moments, quickly made its way to Amazon's #1 New Release and Best Seller lists in multiple categories. In this book, she authentically shares her own story to remind us all that God has a specific plan, even in the midst of life's messes. She has been married to Todd for 39 years and has five adult sons. While they enjoy their time as "empty nesters" in rural Michigan, they also love visits from their sons, two daughters-in-law, and two granddaughters. Misty sends out a monthly devotion as part of her newsletter, and she'd love to send it along to you. The link to subscribe to the devotion, as well as the link to Misty's book can be found below:

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 Misty Cramer © 2023

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