How to Get Your Spouse to Listen to You
Open Communication in Your Marriage
You feel unheard. You want your spouse to tune in and listen to what you’re feeling and what you need. It can be so challenging to get them on the same page and to establish effective communication. It leaves you feeling more frustrated, and possibly stuck in conflict or further disconnected. In this episode, we’re talking about how you can approach your spouse in a way that invites them to listen, and how to share with them in ways that encourage engagement and connection.
Main points of this episode:
The challenges you run into when trying to get your spouse to listen to you:
- When you feel unheard, you might come across as frustrated or angry. This can make it difficult for your spouse to even want to listen. On the other hand, you might feel overwhelmed and have trouble putting words to your thoughts and feelings.
- Your spouse might already be somewhat guarded and unsure of how to respond if the issue you’re wanting to discuss has led to conflict before.
- Sometimes you’re two very different people, with different personalities and different ways of expressing yourselves. This can make it more difficult to convey what you need and get a full understanding from them.
Ways to approach your partner to be heard and understood:
- Remember that you can’t change what another person does. You can only change yourself. So focus on the way you engage with your spouse.
- If you think your spouse might be getting overwhelmed when you try to address something with them, slow down and write out or type out everything you want to say first. Do a brain dump. If you’re comfortable sending this to them, you can do that. But if you’ve used some harsh words toward them in the draft, edit it before sending.
- Once you’ve gotten all your thoughts and feelings out and are ready to share with them, you can preface that email or letter by letting them know you want to talk about it, and you want to hear what they have to say too. Give them time to process what you shared. Then, schedule a time to talk later.
- If you tend to get overwhelmed or upset, and have a hard time putting your feelings into words, writing it out will also be helpful just for you. In this case, you can even use what you write to read from in the conversation. This allows you to be clear, open, and genuine in your communication, and it helps your spouse to see how important this issue is for you.
- Remember, whether in writing or in a conversation, focus on sharing your feelings about the situation, and not assigning intention or blame to your partner. Improving communication doesn’t happen when your spouse feels attacked. It happens when they have an opportunity to hear what you’re experiencing. And if you want your spouse to listen to you, it’s best to also listen well to them.
Special thanks to:
Will Gladden of LEVEL Digital Music Entertainment for making the podcast music.
My hope with the podcast is to provide you with the best help for improving your marriage and authentically connecting with your spouse. Please feel free to offer support and suggestions through your ratings and reviews on your podcast player.
Connect with me at marriagingpodcast.com