This is a continuation of last week's blog:
So what other options do you have to overcome the challenges that interfere with your being the best possible listener or speaker that you can be in "The Conversation".
5) If your partner does the same thing of which he is accusing you, that doesn't mean your behavior doesn't bother him. If you want to act caring about your partner, your focus needs to be on ackowledging the discomfort he is experiencing and attempting to alleviate it if possible. If his behavior is similar, you can always ask that he pay attention to hearing your concerns but this is not the time to do it. If you do, your response will be seen as defensive and dismissive.
6) Yes, it is unfair that you have made requests to have your concerns addressed and your partner has not responded; however, this is not the time to point that out or use this to justify your not being responsive. What you can do in your relationship is to clean up your side of the street and be a model of the caring person that you would like your partner to be.
7) Of course it is frustrating to have made the same requests what may seem like a 100 times or in fact you have made the same concern known one hundred times; however, it in order to act in a caring manner, it is more helpful to take the approach that whatever you are presenting or behavioral change you are requesting is obviously difficult for your partner to give you for some reason unknown to you or perhaps to him. Exploring this is a caring manner rather than an accusing or adversarial approach will be much more inviting and may uncover what is needed for your partner to take you seriously and take action.
8) It is almost impossible not to get angry if you see your partner rolling his eyes or crossing his arms in front of his chest or pointing his finger towards you or turning away or not looking at you. In order to be the best speaker or listner, remind yourself how challenging it is for you to be open when you are being critiqued or being asked to do something that you think is unfair or being blamed for something you believe is untrue. Keep this in mind as you attempt over and over to truly put yourself in your spouse's shoes and see the issue from her perspective. This will help you to be more compassionate and not react so strongly to your partner's behavior and focus on how to continue "The Conversation" in a positive and effective way.
Next Week: The Challenge of Consistency