Ask your spouse for ideas

If something your spouse did or didn’t do has created a problem (it happens), you might ask: “What ideas do you have for … “ (getting this done on time, to fix this for the future, etc.) Of course tone matters.

Firstly, this allows them to be less defensive, since you’re not being accusatory or suggesting you’ve lost faith in them. It also shows that you are understanding and sympathetic.

This question also helps them recognize and accept responsibility for the problem that was created, and gives them an instant way to alleviate the problem.

Lastly, it asks them to think of more than one solution.

It is much more likely that the problem will be solved than if you give into the urge to yell and blame.

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