This week’s Date Your Wife podcast comes to you via the White’s actual Date Night where Garrett and Danielle explore the topics of conflict and avoidance inside their relationship. They reveal patterns and behaviors that did not serve them for years, which could have led to the demise of their marriage were it not for an ultimatum and decision during a huge argument – which ultimately created an opening that changed the trajectory of their marriage.
Every week married couple Danielle K and Garrett J White share insights and perspectives from within their own lives regarding the following topics discussed each month:
Week 1: Sex
Week 2: Money
Week 3: Parenting
Week 4: Communication
In This Week’s Podcast…Communication
Point #1: People Pleaser or Conflict Avoider?
- Danielle believes women typically aren’t people pleasers; they’re conflict avoiders. Women are so afraid of confrontation that they always try to make peace.
- “But ultimately it’s not because we’re trying to please people,” offers Danielle, “it’s because we’re trying to avoid conflict, which later on actually causes us more harm.”
How does this play out in your marriage?
Point #2: On the Hunt
- As Garrett reflects this topic of conflict, he realizes that “Danielle is a conflict avoider at the highest level. If you go through what has happened with us in the past seventeen years, she has NEVER been a conflict person.”
- “The only way we could ever have a real conversation was if I brought the collision to her, and then inside of it, I would actually hunt her down and force her to have a serious conversation with me.”
Who is typically the “hunter” inside your marriage?
Point #3: Hot-Headed
- When men become hot-headed inside of a conversation, many women refuse to continue on with that conversation, thus making it appear to the men that women are in this place of avoidance.
- From Danielle’s perspective: Women recognize when a conversation/argument isn’t in a logical place and is going nowhere. When Garrett flips his lid, and I feel like I can’t reason with him because the conversation is not in a healthy place, I will refuse to continue, knowing that in this state, nothing is going to get solved.
Who is typically the hot-headed one in your relationship? How does this affect your communication?
Point #4: Initiate or Avoid?
- Garrett admits being more emotional than Danielle, and one who is desires to get into a fight and collide. Speaking to Danielle: You were never an initiator of any type of hard conversation. Your mode was to just swallow it, ignore it, reframe it in your mind, let it go and move on…and pretend like it never happened.
- Danielle: I was avoiding confrontation, and was thinking, “Oh, it will go away, it’ll quiet down. I also came to this place where I didn’t know how to have direct conversations with you.”
Inside conflict within your marriage, who typically avoids, and who typically initiates?”
Point #5: Therapy
- After six years of behaviors and patterns that were not serving the White’s, everything came to a head one afternoon during a huge argument in their kitchen where an ultimatum was issued by Garrett: Either we’re going to therapy, or we’re done.
- Danielle: Going to therapy, we both had a logical sounding board to hear one another’s feelings. It helped me open up and communicate better, and I feel like Garrett was able to go deeper into the story or conflict without hitting his tipping point.
What has been your experience inside the conversation of therapy?
Have a conversation around the topic of “Avoider or Initiator.”
Date Night Topic:
During Date Night, have a conversation about the possibility of inserting Therapy into your lives.
Quote of the Week:
“Therapy gave us a better chance to pull off conflict and be in a conversation that would require both of us to own our shit.”
—Garrett J White
“In relationships, I think we argue to be right, not to get what we want. I think we both realized that there’s submission in getting what we want which makes us less willing to be right and more willing to get what we want.”
—Danielle K White