Wives, have you ever had your husband complain about how you have neglected to take care of something he needed for work, like pants, shirts, underwear etc? Listen to this scenario: Your husband comes home flustered and says: "Honey, I am late for a meeting and all my shirts are dirty!" Now, he believes he asked reasonably for a clean shirt. But the wife, she is hearing herself being criticized. So she fires back, "If you would fix the washing machine like you promised, you'd have a closet full of clean shirts." "I only asked for a shirt," he says. "You didn't ask, you complained!" she replies. Did he?
We complain, imagining we are asking reasonably that our partner change something we're upset about, then we're frustrated when it backfires. Why not adopt the biblical principle, "You do not have because you do not ask" (James 4:3NKJV). You'll be amazed how much you'll get once you learn to ask, instead of assuming, demanding or complaining.
Therapist and author Bill O'Hanlon calls this "turning your complaints into action request." Instead of telling your husband or wife what you don't like about their actions, ask graciously and clearly for what you'd like them to do. Be solution focused, action oriented, concrete and specific. Instead of, "John we've go guest in thirty minutes and you're still watching television!" Try this method instead: "John, they'll be here soon. would you mind bathing the kids while I finish cooking?" No complaint, just a request. Instead of, "Nobody lfts a finger around her but me," try, "Sweetheart, I'm really exhausted, would you help me clear up the dishes?" Accept responsibility for turning your complaints into action request, then make them concrete and specific. Saying, "I need you to be concrete" is much to vague. Ask yourself, "If he or she were being considerate, what would the y be doing? "Then kindly request that behavior- and always show gratitude when you get it!