Tuesday, December 21, 2004
The problem that reveals the problem
What if a couple had the problem of not being able to solve a problem, but was never confronted with a problem? Do they have a problem?
Well, this is a common reality for couples, more specifically, newly married couples. They are awash in feelings of happiness and excitement. It is beyond their imagination that anything could ever go wrong.
However, when money gets tight, when holiday plans don't mesh, when the first baby shows up, when _____________ happens, the problem solving deficit is exposed. Then there is a double-crisis.
Not only is there a problem, but there is no clear process to follow in order to solve it. The problem-solving deficit is the biggest problem, but it is not typically addressed because the crisis of "the problem" gets all of the attention.
So, the attempted solutions to the problem only serve to make the problem worse. The couple seeks to solve the problem as two distinct individuals, not one couple. This distinction is not merely semantics. Two individuals can pull a rope, but it will be a tug-o-war. A couple can pull a rope and move a huge object.
Although it isn't sexy and it doesn't have racing stripes, couples should figure out how they are going to solve problems before they have problems. It is their only chance for problems to pull them together rather than pull them apart.