You’ve been there before. You want to tell your spouse something you’re pretty sure they don’t want to hear. Maybe you even NEED to tell them. It could be anything. An annoying habit. A parental concern. Some other concern for his or her well being. But you’re pretty sure they’re not going to receive this information well. What do you do?
Sadly, a number of people will choose the silent treatment. They won’t bring it up. “I don’t want to emotionally wound my husband, so I just won’t tell him.” Or, “I don’t want my wife to think she’s a bad parent.” So instead of figuring out how to communicate some hard truth, you choose to not communicate at all.
Another option is the deadly treatment. “I don’t care how well they receive it, it’s the truth so I’m just going to say it!” This type of action, too, can have detrimental effects on the marriage. It shows that you’re more interested in what is ‘true’ than your spouse. So again…what do you do?
You remember that delivery matters. You remember that while what you have to say is extremely important, how you say it is even more so. You remember that your goal is to help your spouse with a difficulty that has surfaced, not hurt them. You remember that your desire is help them become a more Godly individual. You remember that in most situations it is better to be slow to speak and quick to listen. You remember that words matter.
The next time you need to bring something to the surface…something that may cause long-term pain and anxiety if it’s not dealt with and dealt with quick. The next time you have a concern, or a suggestion, or a fear, or a…whatever…and you don’t think it’s going to go over very well. Remember to share it in such a way that will be received as well as possible by them. Remember that delivery matters.