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paying attentionAre you paying attention to your spouse?

“Arguments are inevitable, right?”  This is the question we all ask after the big disagreements with our spouse.

“That was normal, people can’t always agree and sometimes things just boil over.”

This is a great way to justify ‘over-discussing something, unfortunately, this is also a great way to never grow.

These justifications help us become comfortable with the uncomfortable.

The problem is that the uncomfortable feels wrong for a reason.  That reason is, there is a better way.

If anyone tells you they have never had a disagreement I would be suspicious of them.

I am not here to try to make you believe that I have never been on the end of a rant that I wish I could take back.

Or that I have never felt the sting of harsh words from someone I love and care about; I have.

My intent today is to explain something that has helped me reduce the number of these discussions.

If you are thinking that I am completely out of control and should be examined, you are not alone.

Paying attention isn’t all there is to it, but paying attention has helped me avoid numerous arguments and a lot of unpleasantness.

Now here is the trick, let the other person know you are paying attention!

It does not mean peeking around the corner at everything your spouse does, that is creepy and controlling.

Paying attention means that your focus and thoughts are present when they are.

Paying attention to your spouse also means that you remember the small things your spouse likes.

Perhaps, most importantly, it means that you can pay attention to them even when you disagree.

It is so easy to react to someone who is acting in a manner you don’t like.  The difficult thing is to pay attention to them and let them know that you are paying attention. Analyze these statements:

“Quit yelling at the kids!” Option A.

“You’re stressed out right now. Why don’t you take a break from the kids before this goes too far?”  Option B.

Both options come from the same point of view but they differ, one works and the other doesn’t.

One is a reaction, and the other is nurturing, one is abrasive and the other is not, and one comes from paying attention.

We all make mistakes we don’t want to, but we do because of stress or frustration or pain or a lack of understanding.

When our mistakes can be met with understanding from our spouse they are so much easier to correct.  Plus it’s easy to be understanding when you are paying attention.

Thanks for reading, we hope this helps.

Your turn:

Have you been paying attention to your spouse and the people around you, especially your kids?

Image courtesy Stuart Miles/

Post written by John Henderson. John is a leader in his church, speaks, writes and creates content that inspires and motivates people to win. He is dedicated to the recovery of people out of tough situations. John has created the The Lifewise System, which revolves around the six steps that he found to be pivotal in his rebound. Visit Lifewisefuture to learn more about John