Mark and I came from very different upbringings.

This made for very different perspectives about many aspects of family life.

It’s also set the stage for conflict.

In the early years, we tried to find common ground when one of these differences arose, but that proved to be very difficult.  We were in the heat of the moment and we were both very sure of the “right” thing to do–even though our “rights” were not the same.

We had to get on the same page somehow. That’s when we stumbled upon something by accident: the best way to get on the same page was to learn together.

We signed up to take a parenting class at our church.  If my memory serves me right, one of us was enthusiastic about the class and one of us reluctantly agreed. But we went…together.  And we learned…together.

Taking the class together helped us have conversation about parenting issues outside of conflict.  That was the key…these were proactive conversations, not reactive conversations!

Then we took a marriage seminar and read a marriage book together…again, we were learning outside of conflict.

176866924Eventually, we signed up for a money management course at our church. Our money arguments decreased as we learned about managing our money together, discovered a common language for money decisions, and identified financial goals we wanted to work toward together.

Learning together reduced conflict, increased emotional intimacy, and gave us something to talk about besides diapers and dishes!

If you’ve never taken a class with your spouse, consider doing so in the future!  It can do wonders for your marriage!

What about you? Have you ever put yourself in a place where you and your spouse were learning together? What results did you experience? 

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