How to Talk so Your Spouse will Listen

Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.

Is that true?

No. Words do MORE than break your bones. They break your heart.

During a recent phone session, a husband said to me, “Mort, after she said bleep, bleep, bleep I looked at her and for the first time in our marriage I HATED her.”

Hate? Wow, that’s a strong feeling.

Isn’t it amazing how a few words can change everything?

“I want a divorce.”

“You’re just like my first wife.”

“I’m done.”

“You’re just like your mother.”

“I hate you.”

“You’re fat.”

“You’re a loser.”

“You can’t do anything right.”

What have you said that’s been hurtful? What has your spouse said to you that broke your heart or poisoned your relationship?

In frustration or rage, people say the dumbest things and use the most obscene language. Even if you or your spouse didn’t mean to say it, once it’s said, the damage is done.

It’s like tearing open a down-pillow in a wind storm. You desperately want to get the feathers back, but they’re blowing in every direction. Like feathers of a pillow, hurtful words are irretrievable.

That’s why it’s so important for spouses to learn to control themselves and watch what they say.

You see, there’s actually a MARITAL reason you have 2 ears and only 1 mouth. It’s because you’re supposed to LISTEN twice as much as you talk. Imagine how different your marriage would be if you and your spouse did that.

“But Mort, I was just being HONEST.”

People think they can say anything in the name of honesty. But when you hurt someone with your words, it’s not honest; it’s stupid. And it’s insensitive.

Truth (in relationships) is not just a statement that’s factually accurate. It’s a statement expressed with the utmost concern for another person’s feelings. That’s more than honest; it’s Truth with a capital “T.”

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