Having the Difficult Talk

Some conversations in a marriage are just plain uncomfortable. You may find yourself in a position where you need to bring up a sensitive subject or one that you know will cause emotions to stir up.

There are right and wrong ways to approach a difficult topic. But what’s really important is that you don’t choose to ignore the conversation just to avoid the potential problems it could cause.

First, think about what you are going to say before you say it. Don’t just blurt something out. Take time to really think about the words you are going to choose and the tone of voice you will use.

If your words are accusatory, such as “You always” or “You never,” you can expect defenses to go up. Or if you use a condescending tone of voice, a wall will be automatically erected between you and your spouse.

Make sure your goal of the conversation isn’t to point fingers, put blame on your spouse or make them feel bad. Express that you have concerns about something. Make sure you are coming across as wanting to fix the problem, not make it worse.

Be respectful of your spouse’s opinion and counter-arguments. They may not immediately agree with your view. Or they may never. Be prepared for that.

Don’t talk at your spouse. Talk through the subject. It should be a give and take conversation, not a one way.

Don’t allow the discussion to end without some sort of resolution, even if it doesn’t seem to be the ideal solution or the way you would prefer. Agree to discuss the issue again later, when you have both had time to think things over.

Finally, know when it may be time for a third party, such as a counselor or mediator. There are some topics that require outside help. Be willing to get it, if it is necessary.

Related Articles:

Responding Instead of Reacting

Learning How to Listen

What You Shouldn’t Say to Your Husband

Making Those Big Decisions

The Reading of the Mind

Photo by taliesin in morgueFile

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About Stephanie Romero

Stephanie Romero is a professional blogger for Families and full-time web content writer. She is the author and instructor of an online course, "Recovery from Abuse," which is currently being used in a prison as part of a character-based program. She has been married to her husband Dan for 21 years and is the mother of two teenage children who live at home and one who is serving in the Air Force.