Rita was tired of holding so much back but she didn’t know how to communicate better with her husband and tell him what was wrong.
When she did express her opinion, they often fought with him getting angry and her retreating back into her shell.
Being a self-proclaimed introvert, Rita didn’t find it easy to open up and communicate about her feelings but she’d become so resentful of her husband because of these fights, she knew things had to change.
She contacted us to help her find a way to express her feelings without falling into a fight that always seemed like it was right around the corner.
Here are a few things she learned during our conversation about how to communicate better that may help you as well…
1. Look at “how” you’re expressing your opinions
When you’re a self-proclaimed introvert, you tend to keep a lot inside…
And then when you do express an opinion, it can come off as a demand even though that’s not your intention.
When Rita looked back over a recent fight, she could see that when she told her husband that he “should” go see his mother–that it was the “right” thing to do…
And when he yelled that he didn’t have time, it shut down all conversation as he stormed out.
To her surprise, she could see that she wasn’t making a suggestion.
She was making what he took to be a command which wasn’t her intention.
Just becoming aware of how she was sometimes coming off helped her to see some hope for a different outcome.
2. Look at how you can be an “invitation” to a conversation and come from love
Inviting someone to a conversation is very, very different from simply giving your opinions or making demands.
When Rita saw the difference between inviting someone to a conversation and simply expressing your opinion as a command…
She could see how communication might change between her and her husband.
Her husband and his mother who was manipulative had had a troubled relationship for years and he just didn’t want to deal with her.
Rita had a strong connection with her mother and believed her husband should at least try to get along with his.
But he always got mad when Rita brought it up.
During our conversation, Rita could see how she could invite her husband to a conversation by asking him to help her understand what was going on with him about his mom instead of automatically demanding that he contact her.
3. Look for common ground
When you look for some common ground instead of blindly pushing your agenda, there can be an opening for a new possibility to occur to the two of you.
When we had our next conversation with Rita a week later…
She told us that the next time her husband’s mom called and he ignored the call, she didn’t tell him to contact her.
Instead, she asked him to help her understand why he didn’t want to speak to her.
She told us that instead of holding onto what was “right” according to her, she was genuinely curious about what he would say.
Very slowly with bitterness and in an angry voice that Rita ignored…
Her husband told her pieces of his growing up that he hadn’t told her up until then.
Rita felt compassion for her husband that she hadn’t felt before.
Within that compassion was the opportunity for deeper connection and love–and the first real honest discussion they’d had about this very volatile topic in years.
If you’re in a never-ending argument and want to communicate better, contact us here…