Marriage Matters: Take 10. Facebook post 5-7-14. Early on in our marriage Carol and I did this thing we made up called take 10. If we were so upset with each other that we were getting nowhere, one of us would say, “Take ten.” For 10 minutes, no talking and settle down. The first 5 minutes we would think, “Why am I upset?” The second 5 minutes we would pretend we were the other person. I would focus on why Carol was upset and she would focus on me. We would come out of the 10 minutes of silence and admit to what we did wrong, apologize and ask for forgiveness. 

How and why Take 10 worked for us. The first 5 minutes is so important because sometimes we would realize that we were not actually angry at each other. Many times while thinking, “What am I upset about?” I would realize my anger was plugged into something else that happened with someone else earlier that day or week or month. Sometimes I would realize that I was just taking things out on Carol, but I was upset about something else all together. However, sometimes I was upset with Carol and it was good to pinpoint what it was that upset me so after we cooled down we could talk rationally about it.

Brett and Carol Copa Out FrontThe second 5 minutes was so important because it allowed us to put the other persons shoes on and realize what they were upset about. Sometimes I remember thinking, “No wonder she got defensive, I was really being a jerk.”

Take 10 can only work if you follow the rules: no talking, settle down, think through things and you both have to agree to the terms.

One time after I got done speaking about Take 10 at a marriage conference, a woman said to me that her and her husband were going to do Take 11. Five minutes to think about what you’re upset about. Five minutes to put on the other persons shoes and then one minute to pray. I told her I would remember that and now I am passing it on.

I would love it if you would Subscribe today at the bottom of this web page to get blog reminders in your email inbox.