It sounds almost cliche to say that communication is the most important thing in marriage. However you rate it, it is a pillar of marriage. So here are some best practices to talk about a sensitive subject:
- First pray to God to enable you to articulate in the best way and for God to open the heart of your spouse.
- Timing is everything. The time to give feedback about anything that annoys you, sex-related or not is rarely the time you are in the middle of it, when you or your spouse are tired, or rushed for time. Give them a heads-up so they are not surprised.
- Be honest but also empathetic. Remember your relationship is based on trust and honesty. However, no one likes criticism so separate the person (your spouse) from the behavior. It is better rather than just saying what annoys or angers you to give behavior you would like. If you are the receiver see if there is any element of truth to it.
- Focus on one issue at a time. Don’t bring up a laundry list of problems. You don’t want to dump on your spouse.
- Keep it short and use I statements. Breathe, stop, and follow-up with questions to make sure you have been understood. Focus on what and how questions.
- Always assume your spouse had good intentions.
- Be clear what you are asking for. If you give a long winded story chances are your message will get lost in the noise.
- Always reinforce the positive and tell your spouse what you love about them.
- Avoid the words you “always” and “never” do,…
- Always validate what your spouse is saying. There is a huge gap between what one says, what you hear, and what they mean. You can say “What I heard you say is,…” and paraphrase what they said. Everyone likes to be heard and you this is a great way of making them feel heard.
- Mismatched libidos are one of the most common reasons for arguments relating to sex in couples. There are no easy formulaic answers for this, but try to find out what are the underlying factors. If it is stress, health, or other seek help from a qualified professional.