You don't always have to agree with your husband. But what if you could minimize conflict and increase emotional intimacy, all with 3 simple words?
Tova's husband was on one of his rants again.
"Those neighbors! Don't they know how to be mechanech their kids? I see them tearing around the front of the house, recklessly bumping into our new bushes. I wouldn't be surprised if they knocked them over one of these days! And then we would need to spend hundreds of dollars to replace them!
"And the yelling! Do they know the meaning of a normal tone of voice? Those kids scream like banshees wherever they go. No wonder that mother wants them out of the house!"
Tova knew that the kids were just playing normally for their age. (Her own kids were only 1 and 3, after all, and couldn't play outside by themselves).
If they couldn't get out their energy outdoors, where were they supposed to let off all that steam from sitting at a desk all day?
Tova could have said:
"Why do you have to be so critical of other people? You have no idea what it's like to deal with school-age kids! And besides, the bushes only cost about $50"
But of course she didn't say that.
She could have said:
"I'm sure the parents try their best to raise the kids properly. The kids are probably getting all their energy out - it's normal."
But she didn't say that either.
Instead she said:
"I hear you."
And she did. She heard his heart message, which was something like: "This is so stressful! I come home from a long day at work and I see wild kids running and screaming in front of my house!"
Take a minute and imagine what would have happened next, if Tova had tried the first 2 ideas.
Then take a guess what happened when she said "I hear you."
Not sure? Try it yourself and see what happens.