Have you ever had that “pit” in your stomach when you knew there was something needed to be talked out with your wife but actually dreaded bringing up the subject?
You can almost hear their words before you even get to ideas out of your mouth, right? Well here are a few ways to soften the disagreement.
Learn to be a better listener as well as how to share your thoughts with your husband / wife’s heart.
Here are a few gentle ways to become a more compassionate life-partner and share your thoughts:
1 – Be honest in your message and gentle in your delivery when bringing up the problem.
It is not necessarily WHAT you say, but HOW you say it that counts. Of course demeaning comments will inflame your spouse. However, even a nice sentence uttered in a sarcastic fashion, will cut into the other person.
“be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as Christ has also forgiven you” Ephesians 4:32
Kindness, is the sweetness, that makes communication palatable
2 – Think how your husband/wife will feel when you communicate your thoughts.
Be aware of how your words are being heard in a way that touches his/her mind. Notice their expressions to see if what you are saying is what she is hearing.
Notice a change in their posture or facial expression when you speak. If you see a change on their face that indicates a misunderstanding or slight confusion on their part, stop – ask what they are hearing , and rephrase your sentence.
You want to be sure your message is received as you are wanting it to be heard.
3 – Organize your message so that you stay on the topic especially when it is something you know will sting a bit.
If you have something very important to share with your sweetie, you might write it our first. At the very least, make a few bullet points to stay on subject.
4 – Tell your wife/husband in a kind fashion what you want their response to be when you are finished.
If you did something that crossed the line in your marriage, ask for forgiveness. Be up front and express your mistake.
If your spouse committed the wrong action or said the wrong words, let them know how much you love her or him and desire a strong marriage. Give your spouse a sincere hug that conveys your honest longing to reconnect with their heart.
5 – Speak in “I” sentences and not “you” as it puts the emphasis on how you are dealing with the issue rather than blaming the other person.
“I want to understand ….” Rather than “You don’t understand my point!”
Another good way to diffuse the heat is to hear yourself and pay attention to how often you are declaring their side of the argument. When you tell them what they think, you overstep your capabilities and assume you can read their mind and heart. YOU CAN’T!
Instead, make clear statements about your feelings or ideas and ask them to reflect back to you what they believe is your point.
6 – Never yell at each other unless the house is on fire!
Yelling is something I tried early in our marriage. It was a learned expression which did nothing but alienate my wife from me.
When I discovered effective methods to tame my anger and thoughtfully express my ideas, we began to dramatically understand each other’s point of view. It is alright to disagree. The crucial objective is to speak and listen to each other’s heart, and intent.
Raising your voice creates tension. Talking gently is how to present your side of a disagreement. Asking considerate probing questions develops courtesy for your spouse.
7 – Repeat the concept back to them as best you understand their point of view, using “I” statements to get your thoughts across.
“If I am hearing your idea, you are saying ….” “So are you saying …” “Let me see if I understand correctly, your point is …”
This is a good usage of the word “you” which does not attack them.
8 – Be loving rather than wanting to win the argument.
How you handle each difficult situation can have a very positive or a degrading effect upon your relationship.
Love and enjoyment should characterize your relationship. Life is so short, having exuberant joy in the marriage relieves stress and enhances your intimacy.
Discover naughty and enticing activities which inject pleasure into your marriage. Life has its way to deprive us of enjoyment.
9 -Do not avoid the issue.
Avoidance drives the hurt deeper. We have all had that “elephant” in the room and knew that there was an amount of emotional ice between us and our spouse. Trying to bury the problem is actually the worst way to handle it.
Take responsibility for your part of the issue and be the first one to create the healthy climate for resolution.
A bonus idea =Finish the conversation with a compliment about this person you pledged your life with forever.
Mark Twain said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”
What you say last, might stick with your wife/husband for a long time. Make that taste sweet in their mind!
There are exciting and fun activities for a husband and wife to engage themselves, rather than argue.
Ask any person over the age of forty and they will tell you that life moves too fast.