Tricky conversations

Nobody likes them, right, and yet we all need to have them if our relationships are going to deepen and grow.

I remember having a limiting belief in my marriage that went something like this, “I don’t want to talk about this because it will be too hard and it will all go wrong. If I just leave it, it will go away”.

How naïve was I? In the early years of our marriage, that belief robbed us of transparency and intimacy. It was false security I was clinging to, and when I learnt to kick that belief to the curb and take on a new belief, our relationship flourished.

Instead, I chose to replace it with a new belief, “this conversation may be tricky, and yet it’s necessary if I want to grow closer to Andy. I have to be willing to get uncomfortable in order to grow through this. How I handle myself and the way I chose to have this conversation will determine the outcome”.

Step 1: Prepare Your Heart

Having had it go wrong numerous times, I learnt that step one was to prepare my heart ahead of time. Before bringing something up I’d ask myself “how much of a deal is this really?” I was naturally good at letting things go and not ‘sweating the small stuff” because my default was to withdraw. My personal challenge was to address issues and express myself. And that’s what confused me. How do I determine if it’s just small stuff? I decided that if it had the potential to fester into a major issue, or if it could get in the way of our relationship, then it definitely needed addressing. That first ‘internal processing’ step placed me in a better position to have a conversation that was more objective than emotional.

Step 2: There’s More Than One Perspective

The second step was also an internal one. Would I be willing to see Andy’s perspective as well as my own? Would I be willing to hear his side, his reflections, his hurts, and not just focus on my own? When I could honestly answer yes then I knew I was ready.

Step 3: Choose An Appropriate Time

Step three was about choosing my time for a tricky conversation. What worked for me was simply asking “is this a good time to have a tricky conversation?” Sometimes he’d say “not right now darling, can we do it tomorrow? But most of the time he’d say ‘sure, what’s up?”

Step 4: Your Words Matter – Be Kind

And then above all, step four was about seeking to be kind in the words I used and how I expressed them. One of my favourite all-time learnings has to be the statement, “when faced with the choice of being kind or being right, always choose kind”. 2020 has seen our Prime Minister use the statement “be kind” so much that it almost got annoying, but in marriage, it’s one of the best to remember. You can’t be too kind in marriage.

If you’re needing a new belief around having a tricky conversation maybe try this one,

“The words we say and how we say them will ultimately determine the outcome. If I choose my words wisely then those chats that once felt uncomfortable will soon become comfortable, and this will become an opportunity for growth”.

Maybe consider joining us for a Weekend To Remember marriage getaway and learn even more insights about how to navigate those tricky conversations.

Upcoming Events



Top Articles

Follow us:

Share this article

Spread help and hope by sharing to your favourite platform


Get new articles delivered to your inbox​


More articles like this

Wynand Jacobs

Happily Ever After?

The secret to “happily ever after” is finding your soul mate, right? Wrong! Here’s why; and an alternative mindset you may want to adopt. Relationship investment mindset Great marriages don’t just happen. Even the best of relationships have challenges. That doesn’t mean you’ve married the wrong person, it simply means you’re married. You see, many

Read More »
Nikki Bray

The 5 benefits of Marriage Mentoring

The concept of mentoring has been around for centuries.  It’s all about sharing knowledge, life skills and personal experiences to guide another person towards reaching their full potential. It’s about investing your time and talents to make a positive difference in the life of another. In a nutshell it’s discipleship at its best. Marriage mentoring

Read More »
Nikki Bray

How to disagree agreeably

Over 28 years of marriage Andy and I often found ourselves disagreeing on various topics in our relationship. And when we did disagree, I never liked it. However, Andy would constantly remind me “if we always thought the same then what’s the point of one of us being here”. I found that a useful statement

Read More »
Scroll to Top