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Being Assertive Is Good For Marriage
by Angie Lewis
6/26/2008 / Marriage
Being assertive is a good thing for marriage because it lets our spouse know how we are feeling and that means productive communication. Anytime we express ourselves to our spouse in a good way we are being confident in what we are saying and that is what assertiveness is.
Don't confuse assertive behavior with being bossy, pushy, controlling, demanding, or aggressive because those behaviors will not help you in your communications with your spouse or with any others you are in a relationship with. These behaviors are inappropriate actions and will result in unproductive expression of self.
When we assert ourselves, such as the way we feel, to our spouse, it helps them to understand us better, and that way they can meet our needs in a much better way, which is beneficial for the marriage. Being assertive is useful for marriage, especially during a misunderstanding or argument.
Assertive expression is a good way to communicate if we want to improve the openness and intimacy of our marriage. Most of us married people need and want a spouse who is going to be open and assertive with their feelings, need, and wants. But sometimes we can come across as naggy, bossy, or complaining, so we need to be careful how we assert ourselves. Discernment is the key here.
Be Assertive When
1. Be assertive when you need your spouse to know how you feel
2. Be assertive when you need to assert self-confidence in your ability about something
3. Be assertive when you feel that your spouse does not understand how you feel
4. Be assertive when you have children that need to obey your house rules
5. Be assertive when you want to show more self-assurance in certain areas of your life
6. Be assertive when you need to be open and honest
7. Be assertive when you find yourself people-pleasing
Don't Be Assertive If
1. Don't be assertive if it is going to hurt someone emotionally, mentally, or spiritually
2. Don't be assertive if it does not let someone know how you feel about something
3. Don't be assertive if you are being pushy, controlling, or aggressively assertive
4. Don't be assertive if you are annoying or invalidating
5. Don't be assertive if it makes you selfish
The best way to tell your spouse how you feel about something without them overthrowing your feelings is to first validate them and their opinion. Be positive first and then assert your own feelings and thoughts. Never put down, deny, or invalidate the way a person feels. Everyone thinks and feels differently and we should never deny another persons feelings, even if it differs from our own.
If you are having an argument with your spouse, it is perfectly ok to assert your feelings and express yourself productively, meaning, if it is going to help the argument get to a resolve, than by all means tell it like it is. Be politely assertive and it will help the outcome of the argument.
How To Be Politely Assertive
1. Be respectful at all times
2. Say how you feel, but don't say how someone else feels
3. Stay positive about the feelings of another
4. Be open and honest about how you feel
People-pleasing spouses usually do not assert themselves and they end up feeling resentful and disappointed with the marriage. This is very detrimental to the marriage. Not only does your spouse not know how you feel but also they will not be able to assist in the recovery of your feelings through a resolution because they do not know what you want or need.
What is people-pleasing? People-pleaser's want everyone to be happy. They work hard to make sure to please everyone but themselves. Resentment settles in causing animosity and other negative feelings. Ironically neither spouse is happy in this kind of marriage because the receiving spouse feels the resentment and bitterness of the people-pleaser spouse from their emotions and behaviors.
Unfortunately, I have seen it happen over and over again, when a spouse does not speak up about what they want and need they become like a punching bag. They take in lots of taunting, rejection, and disrespect. But the minute they begin to assert themselves with self-confidence to their spouse they start getting the respect they deserve.
The truth is we can still please our spouse and get what we want too, by being assertive about our wants and needs. We need to find balance that brings joy and happiness to the marriage. We shouldn't become selfish to be assertive, but we should become assertive to bring more happiness into the marriage.
We can only please ourselves by letting others know how we feel. And when we do assert ourselves we feel more loving. Love will flow freely from our heart and this is real love. We assert ourselves so we can be more loving! Now, what spouse does not want to be genuinely loved by the man or woman they married? Strangely enough, the more we please ourselves, the better marriage partner we become. With our own needs fulfilled, we will have so much more to give.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. ( 1 John 4:11,12)
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Read more articles by Angie Lewis
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