By Scott Parker, CSW
When your spouse comes to you with an emotion such as “I just feel like you never listen to me,” it can be tempting to respond with logic. A common response is to start listing reasons why our spouse should not feel this way. For example, you might point out examples of when you did listen and follow through on something your spouse requested.
But making a case against your spouse’s emotions–saying “Here are five reasons why you are wrong to feel that way”–will never work will never work, just as listing a roller coaster’s safety features is not likely to calm down someone who is afraid of roller coasters.
Instead of responding to your spouse’s emotions on a logical level, try responding on an emotional level. This is the equivalent of holding your scared spouse’s hand through a roller coaster. Regardless of the facts of the matter, if your spouse needs reassurance that you care, a hug and kind tone of voice can work wonders to help them not just understand that you care, but feel that you care.