How to complain so your partner will listen and do something about
Is there a problem in your relationship that is bugging you?
How do you complain so your spouse would listen and change his/her bothersome behaviour.
Do you yell, scream, nag or blurt out in anger?
Or do you avoid confrontation by keeping it buried in your heart?
Well you might have noticed that neither of complaining techniques work?
So how do you actually complain to your in a way that he/she doesn’t feel criticised or harassed? How can you complain so that they will feel happy to change?
Before I explain how to go about influencing you spouse let me quickly mention things that you should never do even if you are bursting to do so:
- Negative attitude
- No accusation
- Use word like “you never/always”
Even if you think that you have a divine right to vent your feelings this never solves the problem.
Yes maybe you it may make you feel better but you have alienated your spouse and created a resentful spirit. This may only serve to make him/her want to even the score and the problem spirals out of control. No one wins.
This brings me to the first solution offered by relationship expert Terrence Real.
This about remembering:
- Why you are complaining about in the first place.
- What is it you want your spouse to do or stop doing?
- What are you trying to achieve and
- What is the best way to get what you want?
I really love it when Terry reminds us that your spouse is not the enemy. He or she is someone you love or have to live with for the rest of your life. You surely don’t want to hurt or be on their wrong side. This will not serve your best interest.
- When explaining to your spouse what bothers you start by telling him or her what you observe.
E.g. “I notice that you don’t call to tell me when you are going to be late.”
This centers on the action not the personality of the person.
- Explain what the action means to you. E.g. “I interpret that as if you don’t care about me who might be worrying if something is wrong.2
- Tell him or her what you feel. E.g. “I feel hurt, worried and left out. You may have gotten in an accident or worst gone to visit with some other man/woman.”
- Explain what they can do to make you feel better. E.g. “It would be so nice if you can simple call to say that you either got delayed at the office or got caught up in traffic.”
Done correctly you will see your marriage become so much more happy and fulfulling.