How to Speak so Your Spouse Listens
COMMUNICATION… it is what connects us and there are always two sides: The speaker and the listener.
The truth is, many of us are looking for the approval of those closest to us on some level or another. And this is often disguised by the desire to have our spouse understand what we are talking about. Anything important to us should be important to them, right? I always thought I just wanted Meygan to “get it.” But really I wanted her to be okay with me, accept me, validate me, love me and to listen to me.
One of the most valuable personal growth skills we can learn is listening with empathy. It’s a skill that not only serves others, but also one that stretches us to become more loving, patient, and connected people.
As an empathic listener, you must be willing to:
Remain completely attentive to what your spouse is saying
Avoid interrupting, even when you have something to add
Ask open-ended questions that invite more from your spouse
Avoid jumping to conclusions or offer solutions
Reflect back to the speaker what you heard them say
Here are some Connecting Questions to get you talking and listening to one another.
- When was a time you felt most misunderstood by someone?
- What are external factors that have gotten in the way of us communicating with each other? (TV on in the background, kids, phone alerts, multitasking, etc.)
- What is one thing we can both do to create a safe place for us to have heart-to-heart conversations?
- What is one thing that I can work on to become a better listener?