Monday Aug 28, 2023

”Ask Leslie” Speaking Up in a Destructive Marriage

In this episode, Julie Sedenko & Leslie Vernick discuss the importance and the challenges of speaking up in relationships, particularly in difficult or destructive marriages.

The Challenge of Speaking Up:

  • In destructive marriages, speaking up can be scary and unsafe.
  • Balancing the need to speak up for oneself with the potential negative responses.
  • Referencing Matthew 7, where Jesus warns about casting pearls before swine.

The Value of Learning to Speak Up:

  • Emphasizing the importance of speaking up for oneself in mature relationships.
  • The need for effective communication to build healthier relationships.
  • Acknowledging that speaking up doesn't always mean speaking in the heat of the moment.

Guidelines for Speaking Up:

  • The wisdom of using biblical teachings to navigate different situations.
  • Differentiating between speaking about someone else's behavior and one's own feelings.
  • Self-reflection is important before addressing others' behaviors.
  • Approach others with humility and understanding.

Navigating Difficult Conversations:

  • How to keep things calm when a partner isn't interested in listening or finding solutions.
  • A different approach to asking about their perspective on a healthy marriage.
  • Recognizing contradictory expectations about marriage and communication.

Preparing for Meaningful Conversations:

  • The importance of preparation and groundwork before discussing sensitive topics.
  • The significance of speaking with love.
  • Balancing truth with love to avoid coming across as harsh.
  • Hard conversations require personal preparation for effective communication.

The Five Levels of Conversation:

  1. Superficial chitchat.
  2. Sharing news and facts.
  3. Sharing personal thoughts and ideas.
  4. Sharing feelings.
  5. Sharing one's essence and deepest self.

Creating a Safe Space for Conversations:

  • Understanding potential reasons for a partner's escalation or shutdown.
  • Addressing a partner's potential fear of feeling incompetent.
  • Encouraging compassion and patience in understanding each other's limitations.
  • Comparing emotional intimacy to physical intimacy.

Overcoming Resistance and Creating Safety

  • What happens when one partner resists opening up or having deep conversations. 
  • Establishing a safe space is crucial. This can be done through various boundaries and techniques. 

Balancing Expectations and Reality

  • Sometimes partners have different communication styles and comfort levels. 
  • Understanding your partner’s background, upbringing, and communication patterns can help bridge the gap. 
  • Recognize that not all conversations need to be extensive or immediate. Patience and consistency are key.

Navigating Disagreements and Escalation

  • How to handle situations when a conversation has escalated. 
  • Emphasize mutual respect and recognize when emotions are becoming heated.

Walking in Core Strength Group Coaching Program:

Love Talk Starters: 275 Questions to Get Your Conversations Going by Les & Leslie Parrott

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