Wednesday, July 25, 2012

15 Things {Day Seven}


Constructive criticism is a necessary and beneficial part of a successful marriage.

Do you remember how it felt the first time your spouse indicated that you could use some improvement in a specific area?  Whatever they are, most of us married folks have our imperfections "outed" from time to time.  :-)
An important part of marriage for me has been to learn the art of giving and receiving constructive criticism.  This is a sensitive area where time, observation, sensitivity, and communication are vital.  Each personality gives and receives criticism differently, and it is important that we approach this is a way that is tailored to our spouse. 

My husband and I are both pretty strong-willed people.  In some relationships, one of the spouses will be subdued and quiet, but we are both verbal and "out there" with our feelings.
No matter how much either of us would try, we can't (and shouldn't) change that. 
Instead, our goal should be to better one another in Christlike love.  And I think we've done a much better job of that during the second half of our first fifteen years together.

On giving constructive criticism:
  • Is my motive pure?
  • Is the timing right?
  • Will it encourage my spouse toward Godly character or throw him/her on the defensive?
  • Am I using the "sandwich" method? (slipping the criticism in between two positive traits)
  • Am I content to live with the outcome, even if it isn't exactly what I wanted?

On accepting constructive criticism:
  • Am I willing to listen to the criticism without becoming defensive?
  • If I feel attacked, can I respond in a way that will cause my spouse to be more sensitive yet let them know I am open to their advice?
  • Am I open to asking God to help me work on those areas of weakness that have been "outed?"
  • Can I genuinely thank my spouse for his/her honesty and concern for me?
  • Can I let the criticism do its work and then move on with life without letting it eat at me for hours or days?

What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how
compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility. 

~George Levinger

1 comment:

  1. Haha! Receiving criticism was something I was really bad at (really bad) when we first got married. My initial reaction was to strike back and be defensive. Ouch! Thankfully I have since learned to keep my mouth shut, ponder it awhile, and then discuss it when I feel more calm and rational. : )


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