As salamu aleikum! Do you feel like your husband ignores or does not pay attention to what you have to say? Maybe you feel that you have tried every way of talking to him, be it nice cat style or ‘listen to me know’ style, but nothing seems to work? What if I would tell you that there is 1 very effective technique that may help you to be heard and they can prevent your husband from getting defensive?
Psychologists have looked into the natural defense mechanisms in our brain and found that once a person hears something negative being said about him/her they get defensive and can barely hear what else that person is saying.
For example, you have got into a huge fight with your husband over your mum-in-law. You felt that she was harsh with you as if you have committed biggest crime against her and now she needs to punish you (or insert here any other example).
So you are mad. Driving home you can barely contain yourself, because you don’t want your kids to see the whole drama, but can’t help it, it’s just on the tip of your tongue, as if you are waiting until your darling will bring it up.
Once the kids are tucked in bed and sleeping you come to your husband and let it aaaaall go. You let him know how terrible you felt, how insensitive your mum-in-law is and how you hate going there anyway.
The dude is in shock and can’t contain himself either ‘How dear you to talk about MY mother like this?’.
The rest is history. You are not talking for DAYS and you feel that he have not heard you and he feels mad, just mad.
I’m sure you can relate to this couple in the example.
Arguments happen, but everyone is left with the terrible after taste.
So how to be heard and listened to in your marriage?
As I mentioned above, there is 1 very effective technique that will help you to calm down your spouse’s defense system and will help him to hear you better.
Always talk to him about how you feel, felt and how a change could make you feel. NEVER talk what he did wrong, rather say how it made you feel. For example:
A No No: ‘You never make time for me’, ‘You never stand on my side, there are always OTHER more important people’, ‘You never pay attention to what I say’; or as in the example above ‘You mum is horrible and x, y and z’;
A different way to say that would be: ‘I know you are quite busy, but I would like you to find and dedicate time solely for spending it with me. It would make me very happy’, ‘It hurts my feelings when I see you defending other people and ignoring me. I feel like I don’t matter. I would like you to…’, ‘ I don’t feel like you hear what I say. It makes me feel horrible. Could you, please, give me 5 minutes of your full attention?’, and the last one ‘Today what happened with your mum really upset me. I know she is your mum and she is very important to you and I do my best to be on good terms with her, but there is only that much that I can do. I want you to understand me. No one wants to have issues with their in-laws, it’s just not nice’.
As you may have noticed the second reply is always longer, but is much softer and does not give a reason for your spouse to backlash, because you are talking about YOUR feelings that he has no control over and, in a way, he should not really get upset about them either.
To sum up, whenever you want to be heard start with ‘I feel…’, ‘I would like…’, ‘It made me…’, etc., instead of ‘You are…’, ‘This was…’, ‘He/she is…’. And, in shaa Allah, your spouse will hear you better:)
I hope that you liked this blog post and if you did, please share it with your friends;)
As salamu aleikum,
Veronika al Mahdiyah 🙂