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Confronting Sin in Your Spouse’s Life (part 2)

Last week we talked about preparing to confront our spouses and we ended that chat by promising to talk about what and how we say what needs to be said this week. So here we go.
First, we want to deal with one issue at a time. Too often we go after the root issue by attacking a long list of symptoms rather than confronting all the individual lies…like not having access to their cell phone or a constant unwillingness to share details of their day. Group all of those offenses into one big category of trust busting activities. The root issue that needs to be addressed is I can’t trust you.
Second, attack the problem, not the person. Starting your confrontation off with a statement like “You’re a liar and are up to no good”, or “You’re always hiding things from me” will probably result in your spouse not hearing the issue you want to address. Instead, he or she will hear and respond to the personal attack of being a dishonest liar, which isn’t going to help either of you to solve this problem. A better way to address the issue would be to use “I” statements. “I’m not feeling safe right now in our marriage”. “I’m having trouble trusting you because you’ve not been truthful”. “I would appreciate knowing where you are and what you’re doing”. Now you’ve stated how you feel, why you feel that way, and what your spouse could do to remedy the problem. But before you do all that, do the third thing

Pick the right time and place. You don’t want to have this conversation when tempers are flared and kids are present. When and where you have a safe discussion is important. Safe means that you’re both ready to speak and respond appropriately. So start by asking “Can we have a safe conversation about something that’s important?” If the answer is yes, start with your “I” script. 
And finally, don’t make this too long. Confrontations are uncomfortable for both of you. Once you’ve made your point, ask your spouse to reflect back what you’ve said and what you’re feeling. When you believe that your spouse fully understands, give him or her a chance to respond. This isn’t a time for arguing or debating. It’s not a time to demand or wait for an apology. It’s a time for thanking your spouse for caring enough to listen. And hopefully an apology is going to come. But you want it to come from a heart that’s ready and not just trying to get out of the heat of the moment.

Know this…when you successfully complete this confrontation, intimacy grows.

4 Ways to Prepare Before You Confront Your Spouse’s Sinful Behavior

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