Have you seen a rap battle? Each person is listening to the other to have the ultimate comeback.
If you’re a Hip Hop head like me, it’s a work of art. The artists are skillfully battling for bragging rights.
Have you been in a communication battle with your husband?
It’s not a work of art, but more like a train wreck.
You are talking (well, maybe yelling) and you just can’t wrap your head around what’s so difficult for him to understand?
You wish he would shut up because he has it all wrong!
I’ve definitely been there and so have many of my clients.
One key to strengthening your marriage is improving your communication. It’s one of the most difficult things to master in relationships.
I had a client tell me, “I told him calmly, and it turned into a disaster.” My question to her was did you actually feel calm at your core? When I explored it more, she was pissed about the situation. Our feelings/emotions expose us. It will seep out no matter how quietly or softly we say something.
For most people, effective communication wasn’t modeled for us. This coupled with emotions and bias, is a recipe for failure.
Communication is difficult because many things get lost in translation because of communication filters.
Each person’s filter distorts how communication is heard and received.
If you’re angry, then everything you hear is processed through the anger filter. If he’s frustrated, then everything will be filtered through frustration.
The problem is we allow our emotions/feelings to impede our listening and understanding.
- Take a Step Back Emotionally
Become the bystander. The bystander isn’t angry, sad, or hurt. The bystander is neutral and merely watching two people interact.
You can solve problems much better from a calm place.
- Actively Listen to Understand
Human nature can cause us to want to be right.
One of my clients is an attorney. She has an amazing ability to craft words that annihilate her opponent. Before my program, she listened to form a rebuttal but not to hear and understand.
Remember, he is telling you how he sees it based on his filter.
- Ask Open-Ended Non-Accusatory Questions
How can we solve this problem?
What would you like to see happen?
- Take Responsibility for Your Actions
Without the expectation that he will take responsibility for his.
- Be Direct but Respectful
Don’t beat around the bush. Tactfully say what’s on your mind. No name calling or using low blows. Keep it factual.
- Use “Hot Words” For When It Gets Heated
This is a word or phrase you can use to take a break. This should not be a way to escape discussing the issue but used as an intermission.
- Try To See His Perspective
Always keep in mind he will never handle situations how you would handle it.
John and I used to have heated “disagreements” about cleaning up.
I would get all up in my feelings and explode.
My thoughts were…
He doesn’t love me because if he did, he would help me more.
It’s not fair I shouldn’t be the only one doing _______ around here.
The crazy thing is John would help me. He loved me. He just didn’t help in the way I wanted.
- Us Against the World
This should not be a battle against each other, but a battle against the issue.
Avoid using the word “you” but use “I”.
- Don’t Expect Him to Read Your Mind
Clearly express your needs and wants. How can you be mad if you didn’t ask for what you want?
I have a client who expected her husband to do all the things when she was sick. I asked her, “Is it fair to him to get mad when you didn’t ask him to do anything?” He isn’t a mind reader.
- This Isn’t a Competition
The one who has the best comeback does not win. You can win all the arguments but essentially lose in your marriage.
Here are the most problematic behaviors that breakdown communication.
*Playing the Victim Card
*Disregard of the other person’s feelings
When used consistently, these behaviors suffocate any chance at a happy and fulfilling marriage.
Effective communication creates a deeper connection to your spouse.
It allows you to solve issues together as a team.
It helps you to feel heard and valued.
If you’re tired of battling your husband and want to feel more fulfilled and empowered. We should talk!