Tell me more.
Those are actually the three words that will create a significant impact on your relationship with your spouse. Not what you expected of course. But, apparently, this sentence can open your mind up about your relationship. And hopefully, it gets you saying those other three words with more sincerity the next time around.
Isn’t that strange? The longer you stay in your marriage, the lesser you say those I love yous. Or, you say them more but you mean them less. The causes, of course, are not new to us.
As with most marriages, spouses truly tend to become at each other’s throats the first few years of their companionship. Often it’s because spouses discover different aspects of their spouse’s personalities after cohabiting. And, because spouses don’t know how to handle finding out such unfavourable things, communication in marriage becomes a struggle.
And the outcomes of such conflicts vary. Spouses have arguments left and right, get tired of each other, and might eventually seek companionship outside of the marriage. This is an outcome all married couples strive the hardest to avoid. That’s no secret.
But, the secret everyone has been asking is how do you endure? How do you make a marriage last? What is the one key ingredient that couples need? Apparently, one of the keys is those three words – tell me more. Want to make better sense of it? Keep on reading.
Tell Me More
So, now we know “Tell Me More” is the secret to marriage. But, let’s set one thing straight. First of all, you do not take this advice literally. You do not say it whenever you and your partner have a squabble. You’re going to have to understand what it means first.
In plain terms, the phrase, “Tell Me More” means you ought to have a natural desire to learn more about your partner or to hear what they have to say. TMM means to have more openness.
So, say you notice your partner not helping out with chores as much. You open up about it and expect a smooth and mature conversation about it. But, what happens in most cases is your partner gets defensive, and then you get defensive. Then, the next thing you know, you’re threatening to leave.
So, here is our marriage advice. Once your partner gets defensive, you don’t hold the defence card too. Instead, you do your inhales-exhales, then open your mind to the possibility that your partner may be going through a struggle you don’t know about. And so, you say: “Tell me more.”
On the first try, your partner might be taken aback by your response. But, since you invited them to tell you more, they will indulge you. And, when they do, you ought to offer all ears and open every cell in your mind to accept your partner’s reality.
The desired effect is that your partner does the same to you. In mutual respect, you achieve harmony in your relationship and wedded bliss – ideally.
Tell Us Why It Works
It seems pretty ideal what the effect of the phrase, “Tell me more,” is. So to the sceptic, it’s hard to believe that these three words are enough to prolong a relationship or save it in some couple’s cases. So, to convince you further, let’s discuss the advantages:
It allows more time for expressing thoughts and feelings.
In most relationships, one partner is more of a talker than the other. When an argument ensues, the talker is often the most frustrated because their partner always tends to shut them off. This leads them to think they are not appreciated or heard.
So, what is the solution? Tell me more. When you are the spouse who talks less, giving your talker of a partner more talk time will show your appreciation for them.
Just to clarify: if you are the less talkative spouse, do not take it to mean that when you let your spouse talk that you’re already “letting them win.” First of all, the goal here is not to win. The goal is to reach a compromise or a mutual understanding.
Second of all, this strategy does not end with just you listening to your partner. Part of it is having a discussion – a discourse of your conflicting thoughts and emotions.
And, how does this benefit your relationship? Everyone is heard; you have an exchange and come to a solution. Problems are solved; the relationship continues.
It helps prevent stonewalling.
Try to rack your brain and remember if you had an experience where you were the one who stopped talking and turned away. If you recall that memory, you’d find that the reason you shut down is that the person you were talking to just yapped away without letting you explain your side.
That’s what happens when couples do not tell each other “tell me more.” They only care about saying what’s on their minds, cutting off any opportunity for the other to respond or to explain themselves. In other words, this is called stonewalling.
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Saying, “Tell me more…” is not all about listening. It’s also knowing where to end your side of the dialogue and letting the other person speak. So, when you say “Tell me more,” you’re no longer the only person important in your relationship. It’s the two of you. So, listen – not only to the words being said but also to the ones not spoken. Read their body language.
Knowing when to stop and letting your partner share their side is not only showing your respect for your partner. You also learn more about them and their struggles. On top of that, you find out what you’re doing wrong. And in knowing these things, you know how to respond better. You work harder to do better.
It sparks more interest and excitement in the relationship.
The best thing about telling your partner to tell you more is the things that you find out about them. That’s exciting because even with the length of your relationship, there are layers to your partner you’ve never discovered before. And, the outcome is you fall in love with them even more. That is the beauty of Tell Me More – falling in love with your partner all over again. Bet you’ll want to try this technique now.
When to Say “Tell Me More”
As mentioned before, you do not blurt this phrase out of nowhere. There are very specific instances in your relationship where inviting this openness will prove beneficial for you two. So, say it when you:
Notice yourself becoming defensive or taking up too much space in the conversation
Can tell that your partner is holding back from expressing their thoughts and feelings
Know exactly what they are feeling or thinking
Find the conversation dull or boring
See them excited about telling you a story or a thought they’ve never talked about before
Are collaborating or brainstorming with your partner
Telling your spouse to be more open to you might be a bigger challenge for you than it is for them. So, if you forget at times or can’t seem to stop yourself from taking up the conversation, be kind to yourself. Inviting this openness in communicating with your spouse is truly a challenge.
So, give yourself time. It also helps that you involve your spouse in doing the same thing, so it’s much easier to adjust and get used to the mindset.
Image Source: Shutterstock
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