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Facts or feelings?

July 12, 2012

Here’s a great idea…

In their book, How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It, Patricia Love and Steven Stosny say, “Focus on your partner’s feelings instead of the facts. You don’t have to agree with the facts of your partner’s point of view, as long as you give importance to the feelings associated with it.” (p. 125)

In other words…

Sometimes we get so caught up in whether or not our partners have gotten their facts accurate, that we miss the real message behind what they are saying. We need to show that our partners’ well-being is more important to us than proving that we are right. Listening and valuing their feelings is a powerful way of showing that we care. When our partners believe that we value their feelings they will be more open to listening to our points of view.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life…

Next time you are tempted to argue with something your partner says, catch yourself. Set aside your thoughts and arguments. Listen to your partner’s feelings. This will require more than your ears; listen with your heart. Why is this important to your partner? Why does that view make sense to him or her? What good can you see in his or her view? Experience the world the way your partner does.

To find out more…

about couple relationships, check out The Marriage Garden program at arfamilies.org, follow us at facebook.com/navigatinglife or contact your local county Extension agent. You might also read How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It.

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