When it comes to tackling tough conversations with your spouse, it’s not necessarily what you say, it’s how you say it. Here's a quick little lesson.
Let's pretend you feel like you are carrying the bulk of the load of the housework.
You say something like, “You never help me around here.”
A statement like that is blaming, critical and harsh. Plus, it’s not true! I'm sure your spouse does help at least a little. You’re likely just feeling frustrated with a particular situation.
If you say, “You never help me around here” to your spouse, you’ve just started a battle. So gear up and get ready, because unless your spouse has a high emotional IQ, and can diffuse the situation, it is going down.
Is that what you want? Do you want an argument over who does what when? Or do you want a solution that helps you get the housework done?
We want a solution of course! So how about if we say something like this next time:
“The house feels like a mess to me. I feel upset that I am doing all of the cleaning alone tonight. Is there any way you can help me? Maybe you could load the dishwasher? Then we can sit down and relax together.”
This request is more polite and does not place criticism or blame. But you still get help with the housework.
Let’s look at one more example:
Everyone in the house is hungry and crabby, and so are you, and you don’t feel like cooking dinner tonight.
Battle Cry: “You never do any of the cooking. It’s always me, and I am so sick of it.”
Kind Statement: “I am so exhausted tonight. Would you mind cooking or maybe we should all go out to eat?”
Notice again, that instead of blaming your spouse, you identified how you were feeling and communicated it in a way your spouse could actually hear.
I often ask my clients when they are working on this, “Would you say it that way to your best friend?” The answer is usually, “No.” That is very telling -- if we wouldn’t say it that way to our best friend, we should not say it that way to our spouse.
Don’t fret if your spouse doesn’t begin to immediately respond with cooperation to your newfound kind requests for help. It might take some time for him or her to see that you are really working on how you communicate. Rest assured, though, that your efforts will definitely cause your spouse to start move toward you and increase the cooperation in your relationship.
If you'd like to work on this, you can take advantage of my Tweak My Marriage 6 Session Life Coaching Package $499
Sessions take place via phone or Google-Hangouts (you don't even have to leave home!)
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--Complimentary 30-minute consultation.
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--Email and phone support in-between sessions.
You will love our sessions! They will leave you feeling more uplifted and positive and ready to be the best wife you can be!
To book, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 239.292.2882.