It’s 6 p.m. and your husband calls to tell you he's running late—there was a last-minute meeting at work and he just couldn’t sneak out. This is no surprise to you. He runs late almost every night. You say "OK," hang up the phone, and continue rounding up the kids and getting dinner on the table.
As you watch the clock, waiting for him to walk in the door, you get more and more frustrated. How many times have you asked him to be home when he says he will? You decide to let it go this time because it’s not worth another fight.
As he's driving home from work, he starts thinking about how mad you'll be when he gets home. He starts to feel guilty, but that’s not a good feeling, so he buries the guilt under reasons you're being ridiculous.
As soon as he walks through the door, the tension is so thick that you can barely walk through it. You both stew in silence for a bit. Then it starts.
He gets defensive, you withdraw, he pushes more, and then you start to push back. Cutting words are thrown back and forth until you both walk away feeling angry, unheard, and distant. You just can’t talk to him about anything anymore. He doesn’t listen. It’s useless.
It isn't really, though. With just a few adjustments to your communication style, you can breathe new life into your relationship. Here are the three most powerful changes you can make to improve your communication today.