How do you communicate unpleasant truths to your spouse? How do you tell him something that will make him squirm? Easy and effortless communication is one of the hallmarks of healthy relationships, but sometimes there are things you need to share with your spouse that are not easy to communicate.
Rabbi Shmuley discusses the three difficult truths that arise in marriage:
- Something your spouse has control over and constitutes bad behavior, for example, you are married to someone who has a bad temper or is cheap.
- Something your spouse has some control over but does not constitute a moral offense, such as being overweight, having bad breath or snoring.
- Something your spouse has no control over and is simply a part of her you find distasteful. For example, she has a birthmark, large feet, small breasts or something else you find unattractive.
Rabbi Shmuley shares solutions to addressing these painful truths in marriage:
- For those offenses over which your spouse has control, such as having a bad temper, it's important to set aside time to have a serious conversation and talk with him about his problem. Don't criticize his character, instead criticize his behavior, Rabbi Shmuley says.
- For those offenses over which your spouse has some control, Rabbi Shmuley says to do the exact opposite. Do not have a serious conversation with her, rather it should be a light conversation in a light moment, he says. Let her draw the conclusion to what you are saying instead of you being the accuser.
- For those things over which your spouse has no control, like his big feet, it's important to learn to love them. You can always find an erotic quality in something that you think you don't like, Rabbi Shmuley says.
"Sharing with your partner unpleasant truths over which they have no control is just going to make them permanently self-conscious. But the more you praise them, the more you give them a vision of their own beauty to which they can live up to."