“We need to talk.” People (especially men) don’t like to hear about what they are doing ‘wrong’. It brings up feelings of shame and inadequacy. Which then brings the desire to shut down or to run away. Which then makes the other person feel even more upset and resentful. In a downward spiral.
Of course, that does not mean that you shouldn’t bring up things that bother you. It’s all in how you bring them up.
It all starts with a commitment of bonding and connection – your mindset, words and actions should all be coming from there.
First, think about the situation from your spouse’s perspective. How might it feel to them?
Next, determine if you still must bring it up or is there a way you can modify something you are doing that may ultimately bring a change to the situation. Or is it something that you can just live with (every marriage has some of the perpetual problems or differences).
Lastly, if you determine that you must bring it up, figure out what would be the most effective way to bring it up – in a way that retains each of your dignity.