Do you ever wonder why your spouse keeps quiet when you need them to give you feedback?
Do you want to end the confrontational episodes when you share your ideas?
This article will give you hints as to what is going on your communication system and how to overcome this.
“Millions and millions in the valley of decisions…” (Joel 3:14)
As long as you are alive, you are obliged to make decisions and to follow them through. It also means taking accountability for the consequences of your decisions. Not making a decision is also a choice, and has its repercussions as well.
This is even more pronounced in marital relationships, where a couple has to constantly consult and make choices together. This means a compromise has to be reached almost every time a decision has to be made. It can be hard and sometimes emotionally draining, if one spouse has to repeatedly compromise to the advantage of the other, or for the family. A win-win situation is always ideal.
Each spouse can effectively make decisions on their own in some cases, but there are some marital facets that demand teamwork. This trend should be set as soon as the couple begins dating, and should become the couple’s habit.
- Ask questions regarding your spouse’s plan or intentions: There is nothing more disarming as a question politely asked. Asking your spouse’s plans or intentions usually opens up a door to him/her reciprocating by asking yours as well. This eliminates the notion that you are dominating the planning and decision making process in the relationship.
- Ask for their opinions regarding a project or activity you intend to do. For instance “What do you think about us going out for dinner tonight instead of you cooking?” Give two sides of the options you are asking and if possible explain how the spouse stands to benefit as well.
- Allow your partner to think through any proposals. Avoid pressuring them to give you feedback instantly. Some proposals involve a total change of lifestyle while others are mundane and may not bring much effect. Either way if your spouse asks for time to think it through, kindly step back and let them weigh their options without you interfering or pressuring them.
- Explain the details, the reasons or motivations behind your point of view or suggestions. Answer the unspoken questions you feel your spouse may be thinking of. Give the details wholly, and if possible get the facts ready before airing your points. This shows your spouse that you did your homework before discussing the idea as opposed to just impulsive wanton thoughts flowing through your mind.
- Be honest… Be truthful… Be factual. Avoid giving piecemeal stories that are like doses of truths and half-truths. This makes your spouse lose confidence in your plans as well as not to trust you fully. This becomes a very fertile ground for speculations and suspicions. Questions such as “ what are you not telling me?” will start to arise. Eventually they will start to double check everything you say, and that is a good recipe for a broken marriage.
- Involve your spouse in the emotional journeys you go through. This a challenge particularly for husbands, who think it not manly to share their emotions. Your spouse needs to know what you are going through so that they can understand the motive behind the decisions you make. Give yourself emotionally to your spouse so that you can reap the benefits of empathy and full companionship. One of the greatest benefits is the support you get in decision making… it is a ‘no-brainer’.
Marriages are for better or worse. The better comes easy; while the worse needs to be worked at together, with whole lot of patience and love. It is paramount to keep the communications channels at this time. Closing in and locking yourself will only make the ‘worse’ become the ‘worst’.
To better decision-making in marriage.