"Marital conflict is inevitable but combat is optional." - Max Lucado
Ever wish that you could complain to your spouse and just get them to listen without it resulting in a fight? I bet you do. There is a technique for getting your spouse to listen, understand and respond appropriately. Psychologists teach couples how to successfully resolve conflict by changing their approach.
In this video world-class couples counseling trainer and leading psychology expert, Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman, explains to couples the three steps for effectively and successfully complaining to your spouse without offending them.
Yes...I know that you want to say it your way but you also should care about how your feelings, needs and issues are being received by your partner so they actually WANT to change because of your approach. Remember that marriage takes SKILLS!
Here are the three steps :
1) Use "I Feel" Statements (I feel "upset") vs. Criticizing ("You always")
2) State What You Are Specifically Upset About ("you didn't unload the dishwasher") vs.
General Character Attack ("that you are so selfish and lazy that you chose to leave unloading the dishwasher to me").
3) State What You Need or the Recipe For The Fix ("and I need you to unload it before I prepare to cook as agreed.") vs. Going Off & Going on a Rant ("that's why you can't get anywhere in life and why I don't respect you...")
I will be teaching couples just like you conflict management skills at aweekendforlove.com (A Relaxing, Luxury Marriage Retreat for Engaged & Married Couples) and couldn't be happier!
Couples who have more marital skills have more tools to make their marriage stronger. It is hard for me to know these skills and not be able to share them with couples dating seriously, engaged and married couples to help marriages to thrive!
That's the winning formula for complaining in a marriage or relationship. This quick technique should cut down on defensiveness, taking your complaint too personally and hopefully lead to a quick resolution.
I pray that you put it to use in your marriage!