Wait – Let your spouse finish talking before you add your opinion… We are continuing to explore the idea of showing your spouse how very much you value her/him. There are 10 items on this tune-up list and this is the third.
Let your spouse finish speaking – Wait
There’s a good chance you and your spouse have been together for a few years. Perhaps you’ve been together for 10 – 20 – 30 or more years.
Once you’ve been together for a number of years, you know each other pretty well. This is a good thing. So many wonderful experiences you’ve shared, so many trials you’ve endured, and so many challenges you’ve overcome. This man. This woman. You know each other very well, but do you still wait…?
You’ve heard the stories your spouse has to tell. More than once. You know their favorite phrases. Maybe you have a sense of what they’re thinking. Maybe you feel your heart and mind are synced. You’re of one mind. (And maybe you are!)
Still. Don’t finish your spouse’s sentences. Wait.
What the one-you-love has to say, is valuable – you don’t need to jump in because you already ‘know’ what they are going to say. Words can be the window into how your spouse is feeling.
If you interrupt or talk ‘over’ their words, you’ll miss clues to what they’re feeling.
Show your spouse that what she/he says is valuable to you – wait a moment (or two) and give them the opportunity to finish their sentences. You married this person because you were interested in what they had to say. Let your spouse finish talking.
Some of us are slower to express how we feel, and might not share quickly. Maybe we need a bit of time to organize our thoughts.
If you’re the spouse who speaks more quickly, or who organizes thoughts by talking out loud, then there’s a good chance you are talking while your spouse is thinking… this leads to misunderstandings because you’ve already decided something, and your spouse hasn’t had the opportunity to express his/her thoughts yet. How do you handle this?
Wait! Let there be a bit of a lull in the conversation. Be attentive and watch as your spouse forms their thoughts so they feel comfortable to express them. Then wait some more until they’re truly finished.
Plus – even though you feel you know your spouse, and you’ve spent many years together, everyone changes! Don’t assume. Give your spouse the latitude to express how their thinking may have changed on a topic. Ah – there’s so much you could learn about your spouse if you practiced the art of the “pause”… 🙂
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”