Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How to Get Through to Your Spouse (When Nothing's Working)


Recently I wrote this post about communicating  (with mentors, leaders, your boss, etc.) in order to get the help you want. It's all about finding the person's sweet spot of communication. Many people never consider that a variation of this also works in marriage. Truth be told, there are a plethora of additional ways you can communicate with your spouse that you don't have at your disposal with others. Today I'm encouraging you to maximize the potential of every type of communication that is available. If for no other reason, I beg you to try something new because your marriage is worth it.

The truth is that we are often stubborn and want to communicate in our sweet spot all the time. I'll admit it -- I'm lazy in this regard. I want to communicate in my preferred method, just like most people do.

I adore my comfort zone. I'm sure you are crazy about yours too.

Why leave your communication comfort zone?

There's something you desperately want your husband or wife to see, to hear, to know -- and they just aren't getting it. Is it not worth it to try to figure out the best way to deliver the message so they will receive it?



Women of yesteryear gave young brides the advice,"the way to a man's heart is through his stomach..." In other words, feed him well and he will be open to what you have to say.  Perhaps there is some truth to that.

I'm not referring to manipulation in this post. What I'm talking about is setting an atmosphere where your heart will be heard. It's about setting the tone for your husband or wife to hear the message that is important to you and create an atmosphere for a meeting of the minds.

Go to the sweet spot...

When there is something I desperately need Larry to hear me on, I go right to his sweet spot to deliver the message. I've learned he has a variety of sweet spots. :) 

 Do you limit "communication" with your spouse to a face to face conversation?  Traditionally this is what we consider communication.

There is more to communication than talking.

The 5 Senses in Communication

Sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch are all a part of communication.

When you want your husband or wife to hear you, you have to find a way that he or she can see, smell, taste, hear and be touched by the message.



I could give you examples here but they would be things that get through to my husband through his senses. Your spouse is different.

Think.

What would make him/her able to receive your message by appealing to their senses? Perhaps they won't agree with you 100%, and that's okay. You just want them to listen, to understand where you are coming from.

It works with husbands OR wives...

This is not a sexist thing. It works with men or women. A few weeks ago, Larry wanted to get through to me on something, went straight to my sweet spot and won my heart in a New York minute! 

I've suggested this to men or women who have responded with disgust that they should have to do anything more than say, "we need to talk," for their spouse to listen.  

"Why can't they just listen? I tell them we need to talk and they get defensive and shut down. Why should I do anything just to try to get them to hear me? Why can't we just have a conversation, and they respond like I want them to?"

Truth be told, it scares a lot of people when they hear, "We need to talk." It reminds them of being called into the principal's office.

Here's the thing...you're the one wanting something. You're the one who's asking for something, not them. What is it worth to you?

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