STOP TRYING TO FIX YOUR SPOUSE

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One of the most common themes that I hear from married couples in my counseling office is the lack of good communication. Over time, I’ve learned that generally there are two types of poor communicators. Those that can only talk about themselves and those that are the “quick fixers”. Good communication includes looking into your spouse’s eyes and truly listen to what they are saying to you. The next step is to reflect back what they just said. For example a spouse might say something like “I’m really tired today.” Instead of responding with how tired you are from your long day or responding by telling her that she shouldn’t be so hard on herself, you could say “It sounds like you’ve had a really long day today. Maybe I could rub your feet while we sit on the couch and talk about it.” You need to let her open up and talk about what she wants to talk about BEFORE you get time to open up and talk about your day. This obviously works the other way too. Many wives need to work on their listening skills and empathy techniques just as much or more than their husbands. However, husbands tend to be more likely to skim over the emotional needs trying to be met through a good conversation. Instead of a quick fix, sit down and give your wife 20-30 minutes to open up about her day. She will likely be more than willing to listen to your input if you give her that time first.

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