Do you feel unheard, unseen or misunderstood by your spouse? If this sounds familiar to you, keep reading.
It’s common for people to feel as though their spouses don’t fully understand where they’re coming from–or even hear what they’re trying to say at all. The good news is, you’re not alone. Even better, it’s possible to solve this problem.
In today’s blog, we’re going to talk about some ways to help you reconnect with your spouse and rekindle the intimacy you’re missing.
Step 1. Tell Your Spouse How You’re Feeling
If you haven’t already tried to broach the subject with your spouse, now might be the time to try. We recommend approaching your husband or wife when you’re feeling as calm and steady as possible. An angry outburst in the middle of conflict, such as, “You never listen to me!” or, “You never hear me!” will never go over as well as a thoughtful, measured conversation.
There’s no guarantee that your spouse will respond well, especially if this is a longstanding issue. However, attempting to start the conversation is your first step. It’s always possible that you’ve simply become disconnected due to busyness or the daily obligations of your life and your job.
Step 2. Put Your Feelings in Writing
Let’s say you tried having a face-to-face conversation with your spouse about being heard, but it just didn’t work the way you’d hoped. You could attempt to write your spouse a letter describing your experience. Be careful not to blame your spouse when you communicate about the way you’ve been feeling. It’s always possible that their failure to hear you has been unintentional.
Putting your feelings in writing without blaming or making generalized statements gives you a chance to think through exactly what you want to say. It also gives your spouse the opportunity to receive the message without the high emotions that can come from a discussion. Sometimes, it’s difficult to respond well to hard conversations, particularly when one feels blamed or singled out for a pattern in the relationship.
Putting your feelings in writing can go a long way toward clarifying the message that you want to get across–and toward helping your spouse potentially embrace it.
Step 3. Speak With a Trusted Mentor Together
Sometimes, no matter how hard we try to get a message across to our spouse, it can be difficult to help it land effectively. If your efforts to tackle the issue have been unsuccessful so far, it might be time to bring in an objective third-party. This is a person with the wisdom, and possibly the professional credentials, who can help you both build better communication and listening skills.
Healthy marriages that are experiencing communication challenges could benefit from a marriage mentor or trusted pastor that both spouses feel comfortable communicating with. However, if your marriage has been struggling for a while, or if you’ve found yourselves in a stalemate, getting help from a licensed professional therapist could give you tools that will help you communicate more effectively.
No matter what, try to address issues with your spouse from a place of love, rather than a place of hurt. When they understand how much they mean to you–even when you’re upset–that knowledge might help open their heart.
Get to Know Each Other on a More Intimate Level
Better listening skills sometimes come when you have a deeper understanding of your spouse and their needs. Books, workbooks, and relationship assessments can help you get to know one another on a more intimate level–and build a deeper understanding of how best to communicate.
We offer three quick, simple assessments to help get your relationships into a healthier place:
- The SYMBIS (Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts) assessment for engaged and married couples to establish deeper intimacy–whether or not you’ve already embarked on marriage
- Better Love, which helps couples get to know one another better and offers insights into communication styles, fight types, and much more
- Yada!, an assessment tool that helps you get to know yourself better
You can learn more about all three here.
Have you ever felt unheard or misunderstood in your marriage? How did you and your spouse overcome it? Leave us a comment and share your story.