How to Communicate When You’re Frustrated
I was at my wit’s end with my husband. As the day was winding down, we were both getting more wound up.
I had been up early with the kids. Keith had been up late the night before preparing for work. We were both exhausted. I had a stack of wash to do. He had a stack of bills to pay. We needed to discuss replacing the dryer. He wondered why I hadn’t brushed our matted cocker spaniel. I wondered why he hadn’t cleaned the garage. Our frustration mounted like a volcano about to erupt.
Can you relate?
So often in marriage, breakdown in communication is due to underlying unresolved frustration.
Know that unresolved frustration is normal within marriage. After all, you’re two completely different people.
God gave us the ability to experience feelings of frustration – but the key to healthy communication starts with you knowing what to do with these feelings so that they do not negatively affect communication with your husband.
How can we communicate when we’re frustrated?
Talk to the Lord
Our number one supporter isn’t our mother or best friend. It’s Christ. He loves us more than we can imagine. We can pour out our heart to Him and tell Him if we’re frustrated, angry, or hurt. He knows everything about us and loves us.
Talk to Our Husband
As we pray, the Lord may show us that we need to share what’s on our heart with our husband. If so, it’s important to consider our attitude, timing, and choice of words. (Luke 6:41 NIV, Matthew 18:15 NIV) They can either bring us closer as a couple or create a chasm.
Consider Our Attitude
No one likes to be talked down to. We may have legitimate concerns, but if we’re wise, we’ll speak humbly with our husband, not talk down to him.
Choose the Right Time
How do you react when you’re tired and someone criticizes something you did or said? The best time to discuss issues is when you and your husband have your wits about you; not when you’re at your wit’s end.
Choose the Right Words
Accusatory generalities such as, “You never….” Or “You always….” invite an argument. Owning our feelings and being specific about an issue invite discussion. For instance, “When you oversleep, I get scared that you might lose your job,” is more palatable than, “Why can’t you ever wake up on time? I didn’t know I was marrying a slob!”
Our frustration with our husband may be legitimate. Or, it may be we have a short fuse because we’re exhausted. Regardless, when we speak to our husband, we should choose respectful words that show we’re open to his response and input. We also need to be humble and open if what he says is difficult to hear or we disagree.
Wife Step: Talk to the Lord about your frustration. Ask Him to give you the right attitude, timing, and choice of words when you address matters with your husband. Pray for your husband to be open to discussing your concerns. When you speak with him, ask his forgiveness if you’ve been at fault in some way. Share with him that you want to do a better job of communicating. If he’s willing, pray together. Ask Christ to help you communicate with one another with love and respect.
Debbie Taylor Williams, founder of Hill Country Ministries, a non-profit 501© 3 dedicated to spreading God’s Word and love, is a sought out national Christian speaker and author. Best known as a passionate Biblical expositor, Debbie uses humor and practical illustrations to communicate spiritual truths to women of all ages and walks of life. She has written 7 books and produced numerous video driven Bible studies, including The Plan A Mom In a Plan B World, The Plan A Woman In a Plan B World, Pray With Purpose, Live With Passion; Prayers of My Heart; If God Is In Control, Why Do I Have A Headache?; If God Is In Control, Why Am I A Basket Case, and Discovering His Passion.