Dr. Gary Chapman on the Power of Listening to Your Spouse

Communication is easy until you have a disagreement.  So, how do we process conflicts without arguing?  As I was writing my book The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted, one of the great discoveries I made was the awesome power of listening.  Most of us are far better at “making our point” than in “getting the point” of the other person.  Listening has to do with trying to look at the world through the other person’s eyes.  It’s not that difficult if you try.

Once you can truthfully say, “I think I understand what you are saying, and it makes sense.”  Then you can say, “Let me tell you how I’m thinking, and see if it makes sense to you.”  Two people who listen long enough to affirm each other can then find a win-win solution.

Arguments reveal the heart.  Almost always arguments grow out of unmet emotional needs.  One wife said, “Little things like getting the old newspapers out to the garage for recycling is not a big deal to him, but it is to me because I hate clutter.  It’s kind of a visual thing.”  What is she saying?  One of her emotional needs is to have order in the house.  Clutter is emotionally upsetting to her.

The wise husband and wife will look for the emotional need behind the argument.  Why is my spouse so upset over what seems trivial to me?  The answer to that question will help you understand your spouse.  Meeting emotional needs for each other is one way to create a positive climate for communication.

Adapted from The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted by Dr. Gary Chapman. To find out more about Dr. Chapman’s resources, visit www.fivelovelanguages.com.

(Via A Love Language Minute)

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