Too often, couples try to jump ahead to solving the problem even before they’ve clearly identified what the problem is.
So, sit down with your spouse and try to pinpoint the exact issue. While you’re doing this, use the drive-through communication method. Marriage expert Gary Smalley says it works the same way a drive-through window works.
One person speaks at a time, and then the other repeats back what they heard. Honey, I’m tired of the way you come home from work and immediately sit in front of the TV. It makes me feel like the TV is more important to you than I am.
Then the other person repeats it back. Ok, so it bothers you when I come home and go right for the TV? It makes you feel unimportant.
See how that works? Now, a couple of other important points. Keep things in the I as much as you can, instead of the you. Talk about how you feel and try not to be accusing. Talk in feelings and facts only. Don’t give your opinions or assume you know how the other person is feeling. Just give your side.
Another thing, make sure you identify the real issue the fire not the smoke around it. For example, your husband or wife explodes because you spent $50 on something they didn’t think you needed. Well, it might look like money is the issue. But, it could be that they’re feeling pressure at work and are afraid of losing their job and income. Or, they really want to try to save money. Get beyond the smoke to the fire.