Why Does My Spouse Not Listen To Me

A couple sits very close to each other smiling. A graphic reads, " Tips To Improve Communication With Your Spouse." These tips come from marriage counselor in Atlanta, GA with Faith and Family Empowerment.

Have you ever had a dispute or argument with your spouse? You are trying to deal with an issue that repeatedly occurs and you are frustrated. You keep talking and talking and it seems that no one is home. You start yelling but no one seems to be there. It’s almost like your spouse is no longer listening to you.


And you would be right. But it’s not always an intentional act. Your spouse is experiencing a phenomenon called emotional flooding. Emotional flooding occurs when an overload of information comes in and the person’s senses are overwhelmed. There is an increase in heart rate and stress hormones of the person experiencing flooding. Once they are overwhelmed, they can no longer process any information. If your spouse is experiencing flooding, it no longer matters what you say because he or she can no longer hear you.


How can you recognize when your spouse is flooded? When you see a glassy far away look in their eyes, then you know that your spouse is experiencing flooding. Another clue is when the discussion changes from focusing on the problem to one of insults and character assassination. The emotions are overwhelmed the person has lost the ability to have a rational discussion.


At that point it is time to take a break from the discussion, and return to it at another time for resolution. Take a timeout to calm the emotions, then come back to the discussion at an agreed upon time. It is important to come back to the discussion so you and your spouse can work on the problem with a rational mindset.




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