My amazing and handsome husband was talking about how he wanted to improve our blog and talk about more than just relationships and experiences we have learned from. He threw out the idea of doing “How To”s for self-help and other things.
That got me thinking; we have written about all these different things but at times we have explained only the WHY, not the HOW. Soooooo here is a How To Communicate When Things Get Tricky, or the way that is most effective for us.
There are so so many different ways to communicate (talk, touch, tone, etc) but I wanted to talk about how to communicate when you don’t want to. There are times when discussing things with Sappy is the last thing I want to do because I am hurt, sad, moody, etc. I have put on paper, or web, how we successfully work through those patches. I wanted to make it more fun than simply laying down the facts and therefore came up with an anagram; SMILE! We usually use this method when the problem is more important, severe, or something that can’t be put off.
S-Set aside time. Some things that need to be talked about aren’t pretty or fun to bring up. At times I didn’t want to address the problem and would rather ignore it until it went away. Buuuuut that never works. Setting a specific time for working through the problem might be necessary for it to be resolved. Setting a time can be a personal thing or you can let your significant other know when that will be. Sappy and I have done both and I believe that some situations might call for telling your partner, while other times it is a struggle that can only be won internally.
M-Make it a priority. Once that time is set aside, don’t put anything above it. Putting some task or chore above communicating and telling yourself that you can get to it when this or that is done could put off the discussion until “It’s too late and there isn’t any point now.”
I-Initiate. One thing that I have run into countless times already is waiting for Sappy to notice my bad mood, ask about it and do everything to fix it the second it comes up. This is a dangerous expectation because more often than not, he doesn’t notice until I’ve blown it out of proportion. This is no fault of his, I was simply too stubborn to make the first step. There have been times when I have waited for him to start, but he was waiting for ME to initiate because he wanted me to talk when I’m ready, not because he is pushing me to. My advice to avoid unnecessary heartache is to be the one to initiate. After you have set a time, be the one to stick to it and begin. If you wait for him/her, you could be waiting forever. Be brave and responsible enough to put the work and effort into your relationship.
L-Listen! This might be one of the most important parts! If you start the conversation and don’t listen to what the other has to say, it isn’t a conversation but a lecture. I don’t think I have met a single person whole likes being lectured. I try my darn hardest to listen and understand when Sappy is talking because I know he does the same for me and should expect it from me.
E-Empathize. The second part of listening is understanding. Listen to understand, not to respond. Listen to see it from their point of view, not to rebuke what they have said. If either one of you is defensive and not coming from a place of love and empathy, it will be hard to get anywhere. One thing that Sappy and I do to make sure we remember to be kind and understanding while discussing difficult things is holding each others’ hand or knee. When I feel this connection, it is easier to keep in mind that I am talking with my loving husband and I want to work this out, not argue.
This method works wonders for us. We have been able to be up front and open with each other. Sappy and I try our hardest to work through complications the second they come up but sometimes we need to SMILE and take time to work through it if it’s a little trickier. Find your own anagram or take ours and see if it works for you! Make tweaks so that it is the most effective for your relationship.
I always feel closer to Sappy after we work through our little, or big, disagreements. It makes me love and appreciate him even more when we are able to sit down, SMILE, and move forward with our marriage together.