It’s cliche because it’s true; communication is key in any relationship. My relationship is no exception. Here’s an excerpt from my real life:
Some friends were coming into town on Friday night for our mutual friend’s birthday party the next day. I suggested to my husband that they might want to get together for a late dinner. I couldn’t attend because I was getting over being sick and needed the extra rest. He said that sounded good. I told him “It’ll take an effort on your part,” meaning he needed to call them to arrange plans.
Husband said “I feel guilty tripped, now. Like I have to call them and go out.”
I said “That’s not how I meant to come across. I wanted to make you aware of an opportunity, in case you choose to make plans. Help me; how would you have liked to have heard that so it didn’t sound like guilt or obligation?”
Husband replied “Maybe if you’d have explained it as an option, or not used the phrase ‘an effort’, because you’ve said that I need to ‘make an effort’ before when I wasn’t seeing our friends.”
I responded “That makes sense to me. Sorry that I made you feel guilty. They’re your friends, too. I’m stuck home, but call them if you want, or you’ll see them tomorrow.”
He did call and they went out. And we all hung out the next day. But there was no animosity, no hurt feelings, no lingering guilt or anger because we discussed it in the moment like rational adults.
What is an example of a time you communicated your feelings and were heard in a positive way? Or is this a skill you’re just learning?
Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter, and Facebook. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.