Saturday rolled around, and Ashley needed some help. All week, she had balanced work, the kids, and a long To-Do list. Her husband, Ryan, had a busy week, too. But, she was hoping he’d lend a hand with their weekend activities. Frustrated, she found Ryan sitting in his man cave watching sports. How could he just sit there for hours when she was so overwhelmed? What Doesn’t Work: Boiling inside while your partner is uninvolved and oblivious to the problem. Most couples have different levels of energy and different priorities. Accusing one another of being in the wrong without understanding their perspective can backfire. Don’t assume that your spouse is too lazy or too uptight. Mutual solutions are found when both parties openly express their needs.
Kate had the babysitter settled in for the evening with her three kids. There was only one problem. Kate’s husband, Jon, was running late…again. He comes from a family of people known for running late. In fact, his mother is jokingly referred to as “the late Mrs. Brown.” Kate silently fumed while waiting for Jon to get home. She had reminded him to leave work in plenty of time to meet friends for dinner. Their lateness made her feel embarrassed when they were typically the last couple to show up. Would he break another promise to arrive on time? Fifteen minutes later, Jon rushed through the door blaming traffic and saying he was sorry for running late. They jumped into the car and sped off to their event. What to Say: Kate: While we’ve got a few minutes together, I need to talk to you about something that is important to me. When we show up late, it makes me feel embarrassed. Jon: Gosh. I know you think I always run late. But, you are too uptight about being on time. Kate: When we arrive late, I feel like we waste other people’s time. Jon: OK. I didn’t know that you felt that way. I’ll try to leave work earlier next time. Kate: Thank you. This means a lot to me, and I have no problem driving myself if you get stuck at work. Why This Works: By starting the conversation, Kate avoids giving Jon the dreaded silent treatment. Nobody likes to be in a tension-filled position with someone who says through clenched teeth that everything is “just fine.” Kate puts Jon on notice that he should arrive when he agrees to arrive. And she offers to drive herself without him if he’s late in the future. What Doesn’t Work: Nagging. No one likes to be nagged and no one really wants to be a nag. Read More »
Your husband can’t read your mind. Telling him directly that you want to see a particular change is your best bet for getting him to stop hurting your feelings. Sadness and anger are two sides of the same coin. With that being said, anger generally makes others retreat in fear while gently sharing sadness invites them to help you. Read More »
It’s inevitable that you’ll find yourself cross-wise with someone at work. When that happens, here is my advice. These questions will serve to give you time to think, information about their complaint/s, and your listening just might help them to calm down. What many people really need is a good listening to. Read More »
It’s been said that couples usually only argue about one or two things. The problem is that they have the argument over and over in various forms. Research has shown that the top four areas of relationship conflict are: money, sex, communication, and parenting. For today’s post, I’m going to offer a list of practical phrases you can use to help tame money arguments. First, begin and end the conversation with phrases that show your love, appreciation, and commitment.
- I care about you and I don’t want us to end up arguing about money.
- You are more important to me than any issue about our bills.
- We’ll get through this together. Read More »
Have you ever been put in the “dog house” without fair notice? Do you find that your housemates, friends, or team members are mad at you for not doing something that either was not on your radar screen or was not as urgent as they seemed to think it was? Read More »
Most people agree that “Yes” should mean “Yes”. What is the flip side of this concept? It’s simply that “No” means “No.” This is a boundary, a limit, and a big stop sign. “No” is a complete sentence. It sounds like this, “You don’t need to understand me or agree with me but please back […]