How to complain to your spouse without starting a fight

Have you ever tried to tell your partner how you feel about something and the discussion quickly escalated into a full blown fight?

All you intended was to try to get him or her to see how their behaviour affected you. However they took it the wrong way and things just got out of hand.

The felt you were harassing, criticising, nagging or picking on them.

So the million dollar question is how do you complain without starting a fight or an argument?

Guy Winch author of the book “The Squeaky Wheel” has a brilliant relationship idea on how to complain wihtout starting an argument.

Using terms that are associated with eating Guy says we must make out complaints as delicious as possible.

Use the complaint sandwich.

The complaint sandwich involves “placing our complaint – the meat – between 2 positive statements – the bread”.

The first slice of the complaint bread he calls the ‘ear-opener.’

“By starting with a positive statement the complaint recipient is less likely to become defensive and more likely to hear our actual complaints,” Guy explains.

E.g. “We’ve been married now for over 5 years and I really would like our relationship to work, so if something is bothering us we should really bring it up”

Then deliver the meat which is the actual complaint.

“Last night you made fun of me in front of all our friends, it really made me feel horrible”

Guy warns that “our meat should be lean – brief”. He says we should not ‘season our meat with anger, sarcasm or insults’.

Then you should deliver the second slice of bread in the complaint sandwich – the digestive.

Guys says when we end on a positive note we can avoid any better after taste in our partner.

E.g  “Maybe we can talk and come up with other topics of conversation that would not include making jokes of each other in public. How do you feel about that?”

Filed under: Communication

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!