Rational’ doesn’t mean ‘Agreeing with me’

Too often, we use the words “Just be rational here” to mean “Agree with me”. You don’t have to always be in 100% agreement about everything. Your spouse doesn’t have to have the same thoughts and ideas as you. You don’t have to have the same thoughts and ideas as your spouse.

When your spouse has an idea that is different from yours, just listen. When you listen carefully to your partner, the situation automatically calms down, and s/he often becomes more open to your viewpoint. ‘Just listening’ allows for more facts and clarification to emerge, which can clear up misunderstandings. You might just learn something new when you listen to your spouse’s perspectives and ideas. –
“Help me understand this from your point of view.”
“Maybe I’m missing something here. Can you say it again in different words?”

Excerpted from Marriage 911, Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, LCSW-R and Chaya Feuerman, LCSW-R authors.

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