I was working with a young couple in a relationship counseling session and discovered the husband was having difficulty telling his wife how he felt. He could easily share how frustrated he was with his wife because she was spending large amounts of time on Facebook. When I asked him how he felt he said “she wastes her time and could be doing something more productive like the laundry or cleaning.” I said “you aren’t telling me how you feel, you are evaluating what you think about her hours devoted to Facebook”. He then said “I feel she doesn’t prioritize her time wisely”. I again said you aren’t telling me how you feel inside you are just judging what she is doing. He thought for a long time and then he said “I feel alone and that I don’t matter”. The wife had no idea he felt this way and was deeply moved by his words.
This is a common mistake many couples make. They don’t say how they feel but instead judge and criticize. The next time you are upset with your spouse, evaluate how you feel inside and tell them. Be sure when you communicate your feelings you avoid blaming your spouse. The quickest way to get them to shut down is to blame them. It is important you know how you feel and communicate this to your spouse. This will create more intimacy and closeness in your relationship.
1. I feel rejected when you spend too much time with your friends.
2. I feel like you don’t want to spend time with me when you always go in your office to work.
3. I feel insecure when you don’t notice how I look.
4. I feel like I am not important when you don’t listen to me talk about work.