Hard to Handle

Hard to Handle

Adrienne discusses this episode's "real marriage moment" and her approach to conflict.

This was a hard episode to watch for so many reasons.

First, as I mentioned, losing my Uncle Pat was a very difficult thing for my family. You saw Paul and I having a tense conversation about his decision to be elsewhere the night my mother invited us to her place just after her brother’s passing, and I think this sort of misunderstanding is typical in families as they experience tragic or unforeseen circumstances. We all have expectations about how everyone around us will act or react in a crisis, and unfortunately it’s not always what we had envisioned. I think the key here is to finally understand what someone’s intention was: Did they think they were doing the right thing? Did they think their actions would be helpful? Sometimes actions and intentions don’t convey the same message, so we really have to evaluate whether or not their heart was in the right place.

It was a typical marriage moment though, wasn’t it? He thinks you said one thing, you KNOW you said another and he won’t admit he’s wrong. Oh husbands, we are not that complicated. If you would just tell us we’re incomparably beautiful, and always, always right, then things would be so much simpler for you. Ha, just joking. Maybe.

Speaking of conflict...

As you saw, I wasn’t able to make any portion of the NYC trip, but I was made aware after the fact of what had transpired between Kyle and Camille. I’ve been asked dozens of times about what I would have done had I been at that table during the argument, and the question has really made me think about how people react in confrontational situations. Some of us jump right in and state our opinion, while others sit back and observe. I am more of a “sit back and observe”-type in the beginning, because it’s very important to me to get all the facts and to try and understand the differing points of view, before I state my own. Trust me, I’ve had a lot of practice growing up in a house with four brothers and then running multiple businesses. You learn very quickly that taking sides doesn’t accomplish half as much as working to find an acceptable middle ground. That’s definitely a lesson I am working on teaching my kids. One important thing I’ve realized about negotiations is that people essentially want to be heard and validated, so if you can find even one relatable kernel in the theirs point of view and acknowledge it, they will be far more willing to hear you out. Ultimately, there were a lot of emotions and dynamics at play that night, and to me that is the hardest part of it all. No matter who you are or what you have, the common thread is we all have feelings, which can easily be hurt, and no amount of privilege will prevent us from just being human.


P.S. With the Thanksgiving holiday coming up, I encourage everyone to look around them and find a way to give back – trust me, it will do more for your happiness than any retail therapy ever could!

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