These are some pointers on starting a conversation with your spouse about something you’re not satisfied with. This a conversation that often goes the wrong way because of how it was started. Your best choice is start off simple and offer a suggestion that may be a solution. Remember your tone!
Use praise to even out the things you’re concerned about. Those opening comments can lead to resolution or to a full blown argument. For instance if you are really wanting time with your spouse and have said it many times, your request may come out as a demand or a jab.
Say this: “We haven’t been out on a date night in a while, let’s make some plans for next weekend.”
Say this: “I was really hoping we could have spent some time on this vacation making love, where did the time go?”
Say this: “I’m sorry I had no idea you were interested in making love because we were so tired from being out all day. Please let me know anytime you are feeling that way.”
Starting a conversation with personal attacks, a belligerent or nasty tone, name-calling or use of inflammatory words can turn a simple conversation the wrong direction.
Don’t say: “I want to ask you to go out on a date but I know you’ll say you have something else to do, or some other excuse to say no. You get on my nerves because you are so boring.”
Don’t say: “I can’t believe you didn’t touch me or attempt to make love to me anytime during this vacation.”
Don’t say: “You wanted to have sex? I had no idea, but I guess that’s nothing new. Oh well, it’s the same as always.”
Using this technique isn’t a guarantee that your spouse won’t be defensive. But attempting to start with appropriate words and a proper tone will most likely be advantageous to the conversation. The goal is mutual satisfaction.
Megan, a native of Kansas City, Kansas is an empty nest parent of three adult children Ayanna, Jonathan and Isiah. Megan is a Christian and active in ministry at her church Cornerstone Baptist Church, in Arlington, TX. She is currently a Doctoral student working toward a Ph.D. in Marriage & Family Therapy at Texas Wesleyan University. Her personal interests include independent film, music and marriage enrichment. Megan is the co-founder of the Minority Behavioral Health Provider Networking Group along with colleague Cynthia Thompson.