The Big Ask; how to Make Sure Your Husband Says Yes
How often have you found yourself arguing with your partner over the silliest thing, wondering how you got there in the first place?
Or how often have you ever felt reluctant to ask something that you really wanted, simply because you don’t know how to approach the situation?
I have definitely been there, and only when I paid extra attention to what was happening, I realised my major pitfalls.
Effective communication is one of the most important skills for a solid and long term relationship. If you want your partner to get you, understand what you need, you have to work on communicating your needs effectively.
There are times when you are talking to your partner, (or even a friend or your child) and you realise your message isn’t getting through. This is when you know there is some work that needs to be done to prevent resentment and loneliness down the line.
Next time you voice your needs, try to apply the following steps and let me know how they work for you:
Ask at the right time
If someone asks you something while you are having sex or are about to go to sleep, you are more prone to say yes. This isn’t rocket science; from a biological and physical point of view, this is when your parasympathetic nervous system is into gear, you are less defensive and more open to please.
If instead someone asks you a favor after you had a fight, guess what? You will more likely say no, as your sympathetic response is still active, and you need to chill down before being able to listen to what other people have to say.
This is why is so important to avoid bombarding your partner with demands as soon as he walks through the door or when he is doing something else (especially men, as they don’t excel at multi-tasking and multi listening).
As a mother that has spent all day with her child, I know you are bursting to dump your thoughts on someone else brain, but just give your other half enough time to relax and feel welcome. Your requests will have more chances to succeed and receive the seal of approval.
Make it specific
This is another place where the majority of people fail. It’s not enough to say “I would like to go out with my friends” and then 2 weeks later walk out of the door while someone asks you “What do you mean you told me? You have never mentioned it”.
This is your chance to be specific and states your needs; for example:“on Thursday I would like to get a massage between 6 and 7, right after you come back home from work. Would you be able to put our baby to sleep on your own?”
This way you have given your partner a date, time, location, and you have also explained what he needs to do while you are away. This is the best way to avoid being reprimanded, and to start driving on the communication highway.
Explain how it would help you
“Thursday I’m going to get a massage”. Well, of course you can say that without having to explain why, where and how. But wouldn’t you like it if your partner made you part of his life by sharing more information?
I like to explain my actions, not because I need to, but because I chose to; I see my partner and me as a team, and this is a silly example to underline the fact I enjoy having him on board with my choices.
What I normally would say is “My back has been really tight, and I feel I need a massage to release the muscles in order to be able to take care of our little daughter. I have made an appointment for Thursday at 6 pm, is that ok?”
This way, it sounds more like a dialogue than a statement; wouldn’t you like that?
Sometimes I look at my relationship like I look at my business; there is obviously more spontaneity, but I like to be prepared so we all know what’s going on in the house. I keep a calendar on the wall where I write all my appointments, and my husband does the same with his; this is the quickest way to see if there is a clash in our routine and if more support is needed.
Recently I have started bringing on the conversation“How our week looks like” on a Sunday night over dinner; in this way, we know who can do the drops off, pick ups, and everything else in between.
See if that’s ok
The first step is asking. The second step is listening, and being flexible.
Although I have made an appointment on Thursday night with my fav massage therapist, that doesn’t mean that my partner is on board with it. I’m not saying that he is an evil person that wants me to deal and live with back pain, but it could have already arranged a surprise dinner, or maybe he is coming down with a cold and doesn’t feel like doing the night routine, or maybe his back pain is much worse than mine and he would benefit from a massage much more than I would.
Whatever it is, don’t get upset. A one-way conversation is a monologue, and what you are trying to improve by following the above steps is a dialogue.
Be willing to listen, and grow from there.