Avoiding Friday Night Fights - Part 3: Listen to Understand
Couples often get stuck when it comes to resolving issues because they are not listening to understand their spouse. Have you ever found yourself arguing with your partner, and all you are thinking about is what you will say next? This is what people often do naturally but defending one’s point of view does not lead to conflict resolution. In order to break this unhelpful pattern, you must react and respond differently. Instead of planning what you would like to say in response to your spouse’s argument, take time to actually hear and understand what they are saying. Keep in mind there is a difference between hearing and listening as well. Hearing is the process of your ears picking up on the noise your partner is making, and listening is the active processing of their words, thoughts and feelings. Hear, listen, and work to understand and appreciate the perspective of your spouse even if it is different from your own. In order to break unhealthy communication patterns, you must do something different from what you are already doing, and you must consider your partner’s perspective just as you hope they will consider yours. Consider working with a therapist to learn and develop healthy communication skills for your marriage today.
Lauren Barron is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist-Associate who specializes in working with premarital and married couples. If you would like to set up a free consultation with Lauren, call her at (713)364-9748.
Avoiding Friday Night Fights is a blog series taking place on every Friday in the month of March. Check back here each Friday, or follow us on Facebook to find out when the latest post has been uploaded.