Tips for Talking With Your Partner
By Randi Morse
There have only been a few times in my 20-year relationship when I felt it was necessary to sit my husband down and have a serious conversation with him. Not surprisingly, those conversations usually centered around finances or our children. Even if you and your spouse have a very close relationship, you may feel concerned about having a difficult discussion. There are a number of things that you can do to help set the scene so that the conversation goes as smoothly as possible.
The Right Time
There's nothing worse than trying to have a serious conversation at the wrong time. If you bombard your spouse with the discussion after they are exhausted from a long day at work or have already been dealing with a stressful situation, the conversation will likely not be productive and may result in some hurt feelings. Planning the right time to have the discussion can be a huge help in ensuring that it goes smoothly. Before you initiate your conversation, figure out the best time. Maybe it's after you've had a nice meal and the children have gone to bed, or maybe it's on the weekend when you have no plans.
Being more relaxed and less stressed is the key to having a productive conversation. When you, or your partner, are stressed or frustrated and you try to have a difficult conversation, you're likely to find that feelings are hurt much easier.
The Right Words
Choosing the right time is important but choosing the right words are even more important. If you don't plan out your approach for the conversation beforehand, you're much more likely to allow emotion to color your words. While you don't need to script out the whole conversation, having the basics ready to go ensures that you're able to take control of the direction of the conversation while also talking about all of your points.
It's understandable why you would be concerned with having a serious conversation with your partner, especially if you have bad news. Setting the mood by choosing the right time and the right words can be a huge help when it comes to ensuring that the conversation goes smoothly. If you find that you or your spouse are getting angry at each other during the conversation, don't be afraid to take a step back. Agree to take "cool down" time and to reconvene after you've got relaxed.
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