When "too nice" becomes "not smart"

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When "too nice" becomes "not smart"
Why walking on eggshells in how your communicate with your spouse isn't always a smart strategy.

No. I’m not saying become a bra burning, feminist raging, dragon lady to your husband.

What I’m talking about is not always walking on egg shells to make sure that the timing, the words, the tone, the “feelings” (yes some of you tragically edit your feelings) are always PERFECT for Mr. Husband. Yet, I’m not saying: don’t ever take responsibility for HOW and WHEN you communicate to him. Instead it’s the idea that your main goal should not be about alleviating HIS discomfort of not liking what he hears you say.

Hey guess what? Sometimes we don’t like what we hear and a mature adult is someone who can tolerate the discomfort and still remain connected to his or her partner.

If YOU are talking to him from (what I like to call) the “adult place,” (ie: direct, honest, owning your feelings, non-attacking) then that’s all that matters. If his reaction comes from a “child place,” (ie: defensive, dismissive, disconnected, attacking) you are NOT RESPONSIBLE for his reaction choice.

In a perfect world it would be divine if you could be direct, speak your mind, and always feel that your partner was 100% listening with full attention, compassion, and empathy…RIGHT?

Duh…of course, right.

However, we’re human and so are our partners — sometimes he or she will act out, have a tantrum, or tragically regress into a horrific toddler right in front of you. But guess whose problem it really is??

That’s right —–> YOUR PARTNER.

Just as I remind my 5 year old (practically every day): Life is about choices. How we react is a choice and how your partner reacts to any situation is his or her choice and not for you to be hyper vigilant about him or her “not liking” what you bring to their attention.

Is it easier for me to write this than for you to practice this? Probably…But ladies, you have to start somewhere and if you spend the rest of your life talking to your spouse in an effort to avoid his adolescence reaction (aka: you enabling him), then you’ll never uphold a standard which actually allows for an adult relationship.

Sooooo…it’s time to throw away his pacifier and for YOU to set a better standard. And THAT would definitely BE SMART.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.
Article contributed by
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Carin Goldstein MFT

Marriage and Family Therapist

Carin Goldstein, MFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles as well as the witty writer of Be the Smart Wife where she writes about the trials and tribulations of how to naviagate through your marriage. Sign up for Be the Smart Wife bi-weekly posts and connect with Carin on facebook and twitter. If you live in the Los Angeles area and are interested in learning more about Carin's psychotherapy services, visit her website at caringoldstein.com.

Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Credentials: LMFT, MFT
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Empowering Women, Marriage
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