Every husband would love to have magic words that light up his wife’s heart.
There aren’t any.
But I recently picked up a couple of phrases that have helped us avoid contention and communicate better. Here’s the kind of conversation that can set me off . . .
Miriam: “Regi, if you would put the address in the GPS before you pull out on the highway, we’d probably live a lot longer.”
Regi: “I hate being nagged about the GPS. I’ll get us there. I’ll figure it out!”
And it goes downhill from there. But now, I’ve learned these magic words . . .
“You’re probably right.”
As I’ve disciplined myself to say, “you’re probably right,” instead of pushing back or defending myself, things have gone better. Somehow, those words diffuse the emotion of the moment . . . like pushing a reset button. Don’t just take it from me, try it!
The second set of magic words comes in handy when something my wife says makes me feel criticized, accused, or attacked. Or when I don’t fully understand where she’s coming from. Instead of being defensive or unkind, I now try to say . . .
“Could you give me some more words on that?”
She never hesitates. And as she explains herself, I see that she wasn’t attacking me after all. I’ve even heard her change what she was saying when more words were requested to explain her thought.
Bottom line, when I remember to use these magic words, our interactions have a distinct flavor of patience, humility, and kindness.
Heck, these magic words might actually help in any of my relationships!
Give ‘em a try!
Scripture: Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish. (Proverbs 18:13)
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Excellent! Thank you very much. I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about. Very helpful!
Great suggestions, thank you. We did figure it out on our own, but only after 30 years or so… : )
Best advice ever!!!
Trying (PRAYING) to put this strategy in to immediate conversations
Regi – Thanks for these tips! Much appreciated.
I must ask, so after the first time you responded with “You are probably right” … how long did it take your wife to recoup from the shock (I’m sure she was not expecting it) and what did she say? 🙂
[…] sets of magic words can change the tone and trajectory of a marriage . . . “You’re probably right.” “Could you […]