I was a complaining spouse in our marriage and I had no idea! I’m not proud to admit it, but It wasn’t until I learned what a complaint actually was that I realized, I was in fact complaining about everything. And it almost destroyed our marriage. I’m here to help you recognize and stop complaining in your marriage!
As humans, complaining is our default reaction when things aren’t going the way we want them to. But complaining literally kills the part of our brain that is vital to creating the marriage we long for. (Learn more about the science behind complaining and its connection to Alzheimers HERE!)
The good news is that there are 6 simple steps you can take to stop complaining and turn your complaints into a request. Requests have the power to create real change!
- You must first recognize that you are complaining! For years in our marriage, I thought I was just having a conversation about something I didn’t like. It wasn’t until I learned these 4 indicators of a complaint that I realized I was complaining about everything!
Here’s how you know you are dealing with a complaint:
- You are saying what you don’t like.
- It’s a statement, not a question. If it’s not a question, it’s a complaint.
- There is no clarity about what you DO want. You are only talking about what you DON’T like or want.
- There are no new steps that come out of the conversation.
2. Once you recognize that you have a complaint, the second step is to notice what you DO want.
3. Get specific about what you want! If you are overwhelmed in the kitchen, where specifically do you want help in the kitchen? Is it with the dishes? Organizing the pantry? Sweeping the floor? When do you want that help? If it’s the dishes, do you want them cleaned up after dinner? If it’s the sweeping, would you like to have the floors swept every day?
4. If you want to move a complaint to a request, you must get specific so that you can make a clear request. Making a clear request is the 4th step. For example: ‘I am happy to make the dinner. Would you be willing to do the dishes when we are done?’
5. The fifth step is to come into an agreement with your spouse.
6. If the both of you have entered into an agreement, then you move into step 6, which is to carry out the new agreement.
Once you have completed these steps you have moved something that wasn’t working (a complaint) into something that can powerfully change your marriage and stop complaining in your marriage!
Check out my Youtube episode below all about complaining to learn more about how you can stop complaining and start making requests!
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