Have you ever found yourself at a stalemate in communication with your spouse?
Used with Permission. Source: http://www.fathershouseoc.org/
You both seem to be talking at each other, but nothing is getting accomplished. Maybe this then escalates to higher emotions and further division in unity. At our retreat we discussed a process we can go through to help reach the goal of UNDERSTANDING. Understanding is what the goal should be for every conversation we have with our spouse, not necessarily agreement.
Here is a quick re-cap of some steps you can use to reach understanding in your next disagreement with your spouse (or anyone for that matter):
- THE INVITATION:
- Ask your spouse when would be a good time to talk about an issue you have.
- OUR SAFE SPACE
- Create an environment free of distractions and most importantly one in which your spouse does not feel threatened by accusation.
- THE GOAL OF UNDERSTANDING
- LISTEN in a way that shows you care- put your thoughts aside for a bit. Seek first to understand the other.
- IDENTIFY with your spouse. Pay attention to the feelings. (GUYS this will be hard – for women the emotions of the situation are more important than the issue itself. Identify with the emotions first and it will go a long way in showing her you understand and care.)
- NAME the thoughts, feelings, concerns and desires your spouse has just spoken. Show them you understand
- OWN what is yours. If you see a wrong apologize. (It helps if you know your spouse’s apology language.)
- OUR FUTURE
- The result of going through this process is a deeper connection vs. disconnection. We are able to respond instead of reacting. We can mutually then move forward in deeper connection.
Used with Permission.