The Reluctant Missionary

Authentic stories from the travels of Michael Smalley.

Did I do something wrong?

conflict management marriage Nov 02, 2018

Today we are taking a question that was asked of me by one of you: the question is “What if your spouse doesn’t respond when you ask what is wrong?” Well, to get the answer to that question you’ll just have to keep listening!

And for the distraction of the day. Something insane happened recently to a baggage handler for one of the major airlines. I’m giving Amy a multiple choice test you’ll wanna hear.

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Question from a listener: “What if your spouse doesn't respond when you ask what is wrong?”

Not responding could be the result of:

  • Being annoyed by the question, because it is asked too much
  • Your spouse doesn’t feel “safe” enough to answer the question honestly
  • Your spouse is an avoider
  • Negative beliefs could be that answering it will get him or her in trouble

Why are you asking in the first place?

  • If you’re insecure, then the question is rarely ever going to go well.
  • Are you setting up your spouse? Because maybe you know why they are upset but you’re not addressing the issue honestly.
  • Are you negative believing your spouse with the question?

Getting your spouse to open up:

  • Make sure you’re doing all you can to be a safe person
  • Kind, patient, understanding, validating
  • You don’t “freak out” when issues do come up
  • State clearly and softly that if there is anything wrong, you would love the chance to validate it for your spouse and find a win/win. But when you’re ready.
  • Then drop it, give some time and space.
  • If nothing happens, you can always circle back in a few weeks. But at some point if they don’t want to talk, you can’t make them.

The answer to the question, “What if your spouse doesn’t respond when you ask what is wrong?” isn’t as simple as it may seem. There is no one response to this question however, it is important to consider why YOU are asking it. Make sure you have asked yourself why you feel the need to ask this question because it may not be coming from a good place. You may want to know how your spouse feels out of a need for control over the situation or your own feelings of insecurity. Also, the environment in which you ask this question will reflect how your spouse will respond. Remember, you must be patient, understanding and validating. Your spouse will not be set up to respond to this question well if you have not taken the necessary steps to ensure they are in a safe, hospitable environment. However, even if you go through all these steps to establish a save environment, your spouse still may not respond well. They still may be silence or erupt in anger. Just know, regardless of their response you have a responsibility to love and honor them regardless of their behavior.

Distraction of the Day

What happened to the baggage handler?

  • He accidentally uncovered more than two million dollars from a recent bank robbery.
  • He Inadvertently fell asleep in the cargo of the plane and took a flight to Chicago.
  • He got caught trying to smuggle a rare picachu worth $3,000.

Answer:  Baggage Handler 'Inadvertently' Falls Asleep In Cargo Hold Of Plane, Flies To Chicago Police say the airline employee admitted he had "several alcoholic beverages" when he fell asleep. He was not injured.


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