“Honey, we need to talk.” How does that work out for you? Do you end up in a screaming match? Does one of you clam up and walk away? Do you say things you later regret?
It’s a rare person indeed who goes into marriage knowing how to communicate in a healthy way. We asked couples where they wanted help in their relationship, and communication was clearly the Number One issue. Communication is a learned skill, and avoiding these mistakes in communicating with your spouse will get you a lot closer to the goals you’re after.
Doing your homework before trying to communicate will help prevent some of these mistakes. But here are some specific land mines to watch out for when it’s time for “Honey, we need to talk.”
8 Mistakes to Avoid
1. Reacting out of Emotional Volatility
Beginning a conversation when you’re ready to boil over with anger, frustration, sarcasm, or desperation is almost certain to elicit defensiveness in your spouse. The walls between you will only become thicker.
Learn to own your own emotions; no one, not even your spouse, can make you feel any certain way. Discover healthy ways to deal with your feelings that don’t involve taking it out on your spouse. Cry with a friend. Go for a run. Spend some time in prayer. Let your emotional temperature cool off before trying to work toward a solution with your spouse.