Testotherapy: I want to communicate better

By Drum Digital
03 May 2017

I can’t seem to argue reasonably like an adult. I want to relate my side adequately, without resorting to violence or anger.

Question:

Whenever I argue with my wife I get incredibly upset and end up saying the wrong things at her. Please help.

BRA MO ANSWERS

Whenever we respond to stress or conflict with an ingrained pattern that includes avoidance or anger, it can get in the way of effective communication, which ends ups distancing us from our partners. Here are my ideas on how to communicate with emotional integrity:

Give or receive input: Be open to receiving input from your partner. You have to be willing to test and be tested. You don't have to say everything you're thinking, so don’t blurt out things like, ‘that’s how I feel, so stuff you, you ugly cow.’ That’s one way of getting yourself to being dumped.

Reflect content and feelings: After receiving input from your partner, verify that what you are hearing is what your partner is actually saying. You've got to say, "What I hear from you content-wise is..." Then, to make sure you understand what she is feeling.

Accept feedback and respond: If you are the person who is giving the input, you have to clarify things if your partner isn't hearing what you are honestly trying to say. If you are the person receiving the input, you can respond once you know what you are responding to. Now that you are clear on what your partner is really saying, you can accept the feedback.

Stay in the moment: Stay with the issues at hand. Do not discuss past history at any time during this process. Don’t discuss the time she hugged her ex-boyfriend three years ago. Get over yourself and discuss the issue at hand.

Do not leave: Do not leave the discussion until it is completed. You can tell her that you are going for a walk to cool off before continuing with the conversation. This will also help you reflect and put your thoughts together. However don’t call your friends or end up at a bar to get away from the stress. You might find her gone when you come back.

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