How To Communicate With Your Spouse, in Five Easy Steps(tm)

Each person has a turn at the following:

  1. Talk about the events that you have experienced–what happened?
  2. How do you feel about that event?
  3. What do you think is the meaning of the event; what’s your interpretation of why you feel what you feel?
  4. What did you do as a result? What action did you take? What behaviour did you exhibit?
  5. What, if anything, would you like to change? What do you wish would be different?

The other spouse listens with full attention, asking the above questions to help draw the other partner out or to help the other partner organize their thoughts and feelings around the event.

The listening spouse practices reflective listening, that is, responding with “What I hear you saying/feeling is __________. Is that what you meant?” Then the listening spouse gets his/her turn.