Communication in a marriage is vital to its success. But what happens when you’re trying to communicate but your spouse won’t? It can be a frustrating situation when you try to have a conversation with your significant other, and they don’t hear you or don’t understand. However, there are some things that you can do to get your spouse to understand you.
Persistence Doesn’t Always Pay
Would you keep slamming your head into a brick wall if it were in front of you? No, of course not. So, why would you constantly try to attack and harass your spouse if they haven’t heard your message the first few times? It might sound crazy, but that’s what we often do when we can’t get through to people; we talk louder and angrier because we think that’s what will finally work.
The problem with this approach is that it never works. It will only serve to push them further away because they feel attacked. Yelling at your spouse isn’t communication; it’s abuse, and people get defensive in those situations.
The best approach to this situation is to try and have an honest conversation. Try asking more questions to find out why your spouse isn’t willing to communicate. You should seek to understand before seeking to be understood. Be conscious of your tone of voice and the body language you use during these conversations. Try not to sound like you’re accusing your partner of anything but that you’re genuinely curious about their answers.
Your Spouse’s Answers Aren’t Debatable
Expressing curiosity about why your spouse won’t listen or understand you is a fact-finding mission. All you’re looking to do at this point is to gather information. If you attack their response when they start to open up to you, you’ll lose their trust, and they likely won’t be honest with you again.
For example, maybe you’re trying to speak with your spouse because you feel like you haven’t been compatible in the bedroom lately. Your end goal should be to listen to your spouse’s needs so you can improve your intimacy. They may not feel comfortable discussing their sexual desires openly, and attacking their responses will only worsen it.
Be prepared not to like all of the answers your spouse will give. While the two of you were compatible enough to marry, it doesn’t mean that they think, act, and feel the same way that you do in every situation. Even if you hear something you don’t like, it’s still better than not knowing the truth. And so, rather than attacking or panicking when this happens, be thankful you have finally opened up communication to get to the root of the problem. This doesn’t mean you won’t feel negative emotions; it just means you should be prepared to control them.
These conversations need to happen in the right environment. Any serious discussion, especially private ones like in the previous example, should be done in a relaxed and comfortable environment. This isn’t a conversation that you should have while the TV is on and the kids are running around playing.