It is this sentence: when you (blank), I feel (blank) in the future will you (blank).
The key with this tool is that you are sharing your feelings with your partner as opposed to just critiquing their behavior.
For example, say you are frustrated that your partner is on their phone too much. The initial impulse might be to say something like getting off the phone, and it is so stupid to be on your phone so much.
This type of approach isn’t that effective. After all, it puts the other person on the defensive because nobody likes to be told what to do.
So instead you would say something like,” When you are on your phone so much I feel abandoned. In the future, you will try and be on your phone less when you are around me.”
Communication in marriage
When you focus on your feelings, it is helpful for a couple of reasons.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Matt has been working in the mental health field since 2001. He has extensive experience working with adolescents, young adults, & adults in individual, group, couples, & family therapy. His style is grounded in person-centered therapy but is also informed by CBT, psychodynamic, & transpersonal approaches. He has a deep theoretical understanding but approaches psychotherapy in very down to earth manner.