Clean out the dirty laundry before it cleans you out

palace plan Jul 13, 2021

We all have dirty laundry that needs to be unpacked and aired out occasionally in order to move forward in healthy relationships. Previous experiences in discussions can shape our thoughts and how we deal with present circumstances.  Understanding these connections is critical to reframing our perspective and changing our responses. 


For example, if a person grows up with a father who is domineering and doesn’t allow anyone to disagree with his edicts, the individual may either become just like their father or choose to go the complete opposite, causing them to be apathetic in their leadership in their own home.  Either choice is the extreme response based on past personal experience.


If you tend to be a docile leader, avoiding all conflict at any cost means nothing gets resolved and there’s no closure to marital issues. This keeps both parties trapped in a broken system of no communication. If you are the opposite and struggle with being domineering, refusing to tolerate disagreements, then you could also be damaging your relationship. Domineering leadership will either cause your spouse to repress their own emotions or fight back with explosive responses.  Both choices cripple those involved from forming healthy individual opinions and developing problem-solving skills that are necessary for marriage to last a lifetime.


Great leaders learn to listen to those they lead without feeling threatened.  It is crucial for all of us to give each other room to respond in conversation to the things that need to be aired out in discussion. Here are some suggestions on ways you can reframe your responses:

  • Step back and count to 10 when a tough topic arises
  • Give the other person a chance to speak
  • Ask your spouse what their opinion is on the issue
  • Listen intently to what they have to say
  • Ask questions if you don’t understand their point
  • Weigh their thoughts carefully against the facts around the discussion
  • Help lead the way towards a healthy decision or conclusion to the issue being discussed


We are all here for a purpose, and we can all contribute to discussion and problem-solving inside the marriage relationship. Cleaning and airing out the dirty laundry is never fun, but if you each consider each person’s suggestions or ideas, a solid solution can be discovered. Clean laundry always makes for peaceful living.


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