My husband didn’t reply he just listened.
Notice what I didn’t say:
I didn’t say, “Why did you put it here- it doesn’t make sense here!”(critical + ‘you’ statement).
I didn’t say, ” You shouldn’t have put it there” (blaming/you statement).
I didn’t say, “You are always doing things like this“ (bringing up the past/ other things).
A few weeks went by and I didn’t raise it again. One day I noticed that the bench had been moved. “You moved the bench,” I said. “Yes,” he said. ” I thought it might be better here”.
Obviously this was a minor issue & big things can be more difficult to address.
Sometimes I find it helpful to talk about a particular issue in short bursts over several days.
To do this, again use ‘I statements’ + ‘an emotion’ for example, ” I am still feeling upset about our argument yesterday”.
Related to this, it is a myth that issues have to be resolved before bed time. It was found that many couples in happy long-term relationships prefer to sleep with difficulties unresolved.
See more about how to talk about difficult issues here.
About the Author
Brainheart Coaching: Improving relationships one step at a time!:)
Ann Marie Taylor is a Human Givens Psychotherapist specialising in relationships & the author of 5 Steps to Lasting Love: an evidence-based guide. She is based just outside Greystones, in County Wicklow, Ireland (sessions now available online & by phone). To book an appointment you can text or call me on: 0863549969 or, if you prefer, email me through the contact form on my website here.