In your marriages you may find you want to be able to influence your spouse. To be a someone they listen to and respect and whose opinion they consider.
When I say influence I do not mean manipulate. I mean being able to create an environment where you welcome sharing, openness and safety.
My husband has expressed his concern over this. He has been frustrated that I listen to my mom, my sisters and not so much to him (especially regarding my faith transition).
If you are trying to influence your spouse or have had similar frustrations there is a sure fire way to close off our ability to influence.
We close off our influential abilities when we convince, judge, or become defensive.
It closes the influence door so fast.
Let me explain.
Consider their point of view – If someone feels like their spouse isn’t listening to them, getting them, doesn’t like them and their choices, or only becomes defensive when they try to have an honest conversation, that often prevents them from wanting to share and receive influence and ideas. It may cause them to run and hide and find someone else to talk to.
The best way to create influence in your marriage is to be open, willing to listen, and allow then to be who they are without judgment.
When someone feels fully appreciated and seen, it is the natural response to listen and be influenced.
Feelings of curiosity and interest can help develop this type of influence. When we are genuinely curious about our spouse and their experience and feelings and thoughts, we create what I call a “safe space” for them to open up and share.
I know first hand that a mixed faith marriage often seems to stop certain conversations. They just don’t feel safe. You may think, we just can’t talk about religion. We just don’t go there. That is often a sign that you do not feel safe talking about certain things (like religion, etc). I think we often feel that way because of our own lack of curiosity and interest we have about our own partner.
We may think – “I already know how they are going to react. I already know what they are going to say.”
That is a sure sign you are not gong to be able to influence them or be influenced by them.
If you think they are not accepting your influence I guarantee it goes both ways.
If you want to be able to influence your spouse you may need to change things completely. Reach out and let’s see if coaching is the tool you need.