Having respectful communication in our marriage is vital to maintain a healthy relationship. Open and honest communication allows us to support one another and connect on an intimate level. I believe we all want that in our marriages! However, we have to be realistic. There will come a time when a disagreement or misunderstanding will arise. In those situations is when our communication skills are truly tested.
Many of us have heard the suggestion rather than saying hurtful things to make “I statements” about the way we are feeling during tough conversations. There is a strategy to take that a step further. That is to provide information instead of condemnation. We are to give valuable information that can help resolve the issue rather than pointing fingers.
For instance: I am getting ready for a meeting. I had put the outfit I wanted to wear in the washer earlier. My husband was supposed to switch the clothes to the dryer. I open the dryer to find no clothes. Only to realize the outfit I thought would be perfect for the meeting is still in the washer, soaked. Of course there is not enough time to dry it before I need to leave.
Let’s be honest. Yes, this could be a very frustrating! Especially if it is something that has happened several times. However, instead of blaming I know I need to give information so that he may understand more clearly. Remember we are called to choose information rather than condemnation. I might feel like attacking my husband by saying, “You are so forgetful! I cannot rely on you for anything!” But instead I need to say something like, “I am frustrated because I must now wear something I prefer not to wear.” Using a statement like the second one you are still expressing your disappointment however you are not criticizing his character.
In marriage we must choose to grow and draw closer together. That can happen during disagreements as well if we choose to share information rather than condemnation when we communicate with each other.
What helps you to remember to inform instead of condemn?
Until Next Time- Truly Love,