You don’t intend to hurt your spouse.
How often do you use the word “should” in your relationship?
Using the word “should” is a protective move. You’re trying to protect how vulnerable you feel. But your spouse experiences the word “should” as a shove, rather than as the invitation you’re intending.
Change one word and you’ll change your relationship.
In this episode we’ll discuss these elements of your relationship:
- How you might be shoving in your relationship without realizing it
- You’ll get a date night discussion prompt about stellar invitations
The story of River and Ash and how shoving is impacting their relationship
Ash thinks she’s inviting River out on a date when she says “We should go out with friends this weekend,”
But River doesn’t feel invited. He feels shoved. He feels his heels dig in and resentment builds in his chest. You’re not the boss of me, he thinks, but he says nothing, afraid of making Ash upset.
It’s obvious to Ash there will be no drinks with friends because River buries his head in his phone.
“Never-mind,” says Ash, “I’ll go by myself.”
Relationship communication is tricky because your fears leak out in words and body language. Saying “should” is a protective move we all make when we feel vulnerable. Understand where you feel vulnerable and “should” won’t creep into your language and sabotage your desires.
Habit for Your Happily Ever After
Change “should” to “would” to improve your relationship communication
“Would you…” is an invitation. “You should…” is a shove. Use the “would you…” invitation in your relationship communication.
- Would you like to join me and my friends Friday night for drinks?
- Would you have a conversation with me about saving money?
- Would you kiss me?
Can you feel how your body responds differently to these requests? Where do you feel it in your body?
Good communication begins with respect. You show your spouse respect when you invite them into your world. “Would you…” is an invitation to come closer. Whereas “You should” or “We should” shoves your spouse away.
While you’re developing habits for your happily ever after, consider taking my class, Marriage 101.
Date Night Discussion
What’s the most memorable invitation you ever got?
- Would you rather be formally invited or receive the go-with-the-flow hey come along type invitation?
- If you’d rather get the formal invite, what’s an ideal invitation look like to you?
Ex: I gave my husband the exact words that feel great to me when he wants me to do something with him: “Hey Wife, would you be my date …?”
Would you be my date is a magical phrase for me and when David says it to me, I melt and wrap my arms around him.
Ask your spouse if there’s a particular way they’d like to be invited. Then don’t hesitate to use the precise words they offer. We all have magical phrases. Find out what opens your spouse’s heart.