Continuing our topic from last week on communication, Celeste Davis, from MarriageLaboratory.com, joins me in discussing different experiments she and her husband have conducted in their marriage to improve communication. She also discusses a practice they call their Marriage Inventory, a weekly check-in that helps them communicate better and increase the connectivity in their relationship.
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References for this episode:
The Work of Byron Katie: http://thework.com/en
Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet: http://thework.com/en/tools-do-work
Marriage Inventory – A tool of growth
- Start with compliments and gratitude – it highlights the things I appreciate most (Highlight and make it the focus of the entire thing)
- What to bring up, what to keep to myself, how much to bring up, the spirit I come to the conversation with.
“I thought good communication in marriage meant that I would have all the right words to say, and he would just understand. Much more important than having the right words, is having the right heart.”
When you approached a conversation the with your spouse do you have unconscious goal getting your spouse to your side of the issue? “What can I say to get him on my side???” When we approach coversations with the intent to change their mind, our spouse often feels attacked and defensive
Learn to be ok with whatever happens and not hang your emotions on them coming to your side of an issue. “Whatever happens, I’m going to be fine and at peace – but I’m going to bring it up so he knows where I’m at.” Celeste says she no longer hangs her inner peace on his reactions.
Strategies for approaching hard conversations:
- Make sure you get your heart in the right place before the conversation.
- Question the stories you tell yourself beforehand…
- Go into the conversation thinking “maybe I could be wrong” (This is so powerful!)
If your spouse isn’t on board, you can still express gratitude and compliments and love without them saying anything back.