One early lesson we learned was that it is futile to focus on changing our spouse. You'll be frustrated, they'll be frustrated, and nobody will change. In a recent YourTango.com article, aspects of relationships couples wished could be changed was discussed.
The article primarily focused on changing the way we communicate. Instead of focusing on trying to change the other person, we change the way we speak to the other person. In doing so, you have more influence with your partner, based on a difference in communication.
Related: 7 ways you're hurting your husband (and don't even know it)
I know it to be true, because there have been times I've said something to my wife and the way I said it immediately reduced my level of influence with her at that time. So, if I was hoping for a different action by her or a different result, I was probably not going to get it.
Here are 8 simple ways to influence (change) your spouse:
Focus on you
Many times, the reason you want to change your spouse is because you are so focused on him/her. Change your focus from your spouse to you. You'll see all the changes you need first. When you change, your spouse is likely to change, or at least your perspective will.Give first
If you want the house organized or cared for better, then do it yourself. If you want to eliminate excess spending, then start with you. If you want to be loved more, then be more loving. You have to give first.
Using words like "I feel" and "I need" will carry much more weight than "you should" or "you always." The way you start a conversation can dictate how that conversation plays out.
Ask a question and really listenDo not come home, and ask "how was your day?" Like it is a greeting then proceed to talking about our day, or something else. Ask a question, and listen intently to their answer.
Go from negative to positive
Instead of focusing on why you don't want to do something, focus on why you want to do something else. Taking the positive, glass half-full approach will yield more influence.
Spend more time together
There are times in our relationship where we seem so distant. Those times, it is harder to communicate and get one of us to actually make a change. It is challenging because we feel disconnected. Spending more time prevents that disconnected feeling.
Do something hard together
We recently began working out together in the mornings, and the workout program is no joke! Going through it together makes us come together, which allows us later to share more honestly, even if we may have different opinions. I find when we have not been working out or accomplishing something together, I really don't want to say what I want to say to her.
Speak their language
Speak to them in their love language. Your spouse has a certain love language, and when you speak it, you have a little more influence because you are meeting this need of love in the way they like to be loved. I'm not talking bribery, but genuinely loving your spouse the way he/she desires.-By Jackie Bledsoe Jr.