How to be Completely Honest with Your Partner – Communication in Marriage
Honesty is one of the pillars of communication in marriage. When done right, it can build trust and bring you and your spouse closer together. However, the other side of the honesty coin is that it can hurt your spouse deeply.
Being honest is not an excuse to say hurtful things to your spouse. Marriages thrive on tactful honesty not brutal honesty. You can’t say something like “I don’t find you attractive anymore” or “I find your laugh annoying” and expect your spouse not to get hurt because you’re just being honest. There is a way to be honest with your spouse without hurting their feelings anymore than necessary.
Be honest with your partner without hurting their feelings
- Time it well
There are many things that you can do spontaneously in a healthy relationship but being honest is not one of them. It is very important to pick a time and place where your spouse will be open to hearing the truth. Being on the receiving end of complete honesty is hard and the last thing you want is to bring up your spouse’s unflattering wardrobe at a time when they are already feeling low or after a long tiresome day. Doing so will most likely lead to an argument.
- Explain your motivation
Don’t jump right to the truth. Start by explaining to your spouse that your intention isn’t to hurt them but to make your marriage better. However, before you say it, make sure it is the truth. If the only reason you are being honest with your spouse is to get something off your chest, feel better about yourself or hurt them, you may want to reevaluate your decision.
- Choose your words carefully
One of the rules of thumb of communication in marriage is that you should start sentences with “I” instead of “you” so that it doesn’t seem like you are passing blame. For instance, you can say “I feel hurt when …”
Secondly, steer clear of superlatives like “always” or “never” and stick to the facts. For example, just because you feel as if your spouse is “always complaining” or “never asks for your opinion” doesn’t mean that it’s a fact.
- Dwell on solutions not problems
Although it is important to explain the issue at hand, do not dwell on it. Once your spouse gets it, move on to solutions. Dwelling on marital problems will make your spouse feel attacked and make them less open to solutions.
- Expect honesty in return
As you take steps to be more honest with your partner, expect honesty in return. Don’t open the floodgates of honesty and then be offended when your spouse decides to be honest with you. Keep in mind that your spouse may not have read this article and therefore may not know how to be tactfully honest. However, you can always bring this article to their attention and work on your communication in marriage together.