Being brave to start a difficult conversation with your spouse can change a lot of things for both of you in the relationship. In the beginning, there might be hesitation on your part to have a discussion on a sensitive topic, however, it needs to be addressed as bottling up feelings can have a detrimental effect on your marriage. Now, the question is how can you start off with the conversation? Today’s post is intended to help you with how to have difficult conversations with some simple tips to keep in mind.
Begin the conversation
It is better to first select the subject you wish to talk about and the things you have in your mind about it. Remember, you need to communicate what you think and feel in a non-aggressive manner.
Choose the right time to talk
Communicate your intentions to your spouse and mutually decide on the best time to talk. Choose a day when both of you have ample time to discuss and reflect. Never start the conversation during the weekday when both of you are busy with work and other domestic chores.
Remain calm and never allow emotions to control the conversation. The important point here is to talk on something that is bothering you and succumbing to emotions like anger, frustration, guilt, etc can only make matters worse. Only talk when you are mentally prepared to do so and the same also holds true for your spouse. If he/she needs time, allot that time before both of you are ready to face the truth.
Surrender the need to be correct all the time
You do not always need to be “right” all the time and dominate the conversation. Take a back-seat and listen to your spouse on what he/she has to say. Listen with an open mind and ensure that you do not judge your spouse. When you approach a conversation in a non-judgemental manner, your spouse feels comfortable and safe. Communication becomes easier and smoother.
Remain focused on the issue on hand
Talk on the problem in hand and do not go here and there with the conversation. Since the discussion involves a critical issue stay focused on it. If you feel you are going off-track, stop, and come back to the topic.
Reflect on what you hear even if you disagree
You will not agree to everything your partner says and in such a case keep quiet. Even if you want to say something wait. Your partner might be speaking on something you do not want to hear but you must sit and listen. This is known as “reflective listening” and it helps to prevent the escalation of stressful incidents. Do not think of what to say next. Sit, listen and be present.
Accusing your partner never takes you anywhere. It is true that it is really hard for you to not blame your partner for something he/she has done but refrain from assigning blame. You must avoid statements like, “You should do this “or “You must do that”, and similar statements. When you use such statements, your partner will become defensive and will counterattack most of the time. If the talk is going in that direction, immediately stop. Be fair and never do anything silly in the heat of the moment.
Take a break if needed
There are times when you reach a point in the discussion where things might get heated up and you feel your temper rising. The same holds true for your partner as well. If things are getting too intense, take a break. Say something like, “let’s put this discussion on hold and talk later”, both of you can stop creating an ugly scene. You can come back to the conversation later when both of you are calmer.
With these easy tips you can talk about any critical topic with your spouse in a hassle-free manner. Its easy to solve issues even if one of the partner knows how to have difficult conversations and sort out an issue together without stress and the tensions of things blowing out of control.