- Do pay attention. Set aside the newspaper and turn off the TV when your spouse is talking.
- Do validate feelings. “He gave that special assignment to the new recruit? I can see why you’re annoyed.”
- Do ask questions with genuine interest. Make sure your spouse knows you heard what he or she has said. “So how did you respond to him?”
- Do respond with affection, understanding, and support: “I’m really sorry you have to put up with that.” “Oh, sweetheart, that could happen to anyone. Don’t be so hard on yourself.”
- Do show support. Take your spouse’s side. “I think your boss went a little overboard, too,” is appropriate. “Well, you shouldn’t have been late in the first place,” isn’t.
About the Author: Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, MA, Marriage and Family Therapy, is an expert in marriage counseling, pre-marital education, and helping teens in crisis with offices in Flatbush, Cedarhurst, and Crown Heights. He is a certified PAIRS instructor, and trained as a Level 1, Emotionally Focused Therapist at the Ackerman Institute for the Family, and is a member of AASECT. He is the author of At Risk – Never Beyond Reach and First Aid For Jewish Marriages. To watch his free videos on marriage and parenting and for appointments visit: www.JewishMarriageSupport.com or call 646-428-4723
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