Wouldn’t it be great if you could outsource all of the complaints that your wife makes over the entire course of your marriage?
You know, in the same way that most companies have a customer service department or “Complaints Department” …
So instead of you having to deal directly with your wife’s complaints, you’d simply hand them over to a qualified group of individuals.
You can let them deal with the hassle.
They’d be responsible for handling each inquiry with the tact and finesse needed so that small complaints don’t turn into huge issues.
Unfortunately, within the context of our marriage, this isn’t feasible.
As husbands, we’re 100% responsible for manning those complaints ourselves. And if we don’t know how to handle them, they can escalate; causing unnecessary damage to the relationship we have with our spouse.
And as frustrating and annoying as we may find it, when our wives complain, it’s in our best long-term interest to take note.
Two main ingredients that the savviest customer service companies use when handling complaints.
In it’s most recent customer service survey, Zogby Analytics, highlighted ten companies that handled customer service issues the best.
And according to Chad Bohnert, Zogby’s chief marketing officer, there were two main factors that made up the selection criteria for excellent customer service:
How well customers were getting their problems resolved and how well the company planned to minimize customer service issues in the future.
It’s pretty clear that these smart businesses pay very close attention to what their customers have to say – both the good and the bad.
But it’s typically the complaints that a business will look at in order to improve their product or service on offer.
Married men would be wise to follow the same approach when it comes to handling their wives’ complaints.
Here are five reasons why:
- She’s being specific and direct.
For some men, it’s like pulling teeth to get their wife to speak her mind – it feels more as if she wants her husband to read her mind. So when she’s specific and straightforward with her complaint, this is something that should be recognized and appreciated.
- It’s proof that she trusts you.
Which would you rather have, a spouse who keeps her thoughts bottled up inside because she’s afraid you’ll respond harshly or defensively? Or would you rather have a spouse who clearly and concisely lets you know she needs (or wants) something form you – someone to help you stay on track? Which do you think is more important when it comes to the long-term health of your relationship?
- Each complaint is an opportunity.
My wife complains to me on a regular basis. Not because she enjoys it. But because I give her ample reason to. It’s nothing to freak out about; it’s going to happen. But each complaint is a new opportunity for me to make adjustments. To rise to the occasion. To show her that I’m listening.
- Effective communication.
Complaints open up the line of communication between you and your wife. If you handle them correctly, they’re less stressful to deal with and your wife feels appreciated and understood. It makes it easier for you to think rationally and for your wife to safely express her concerns. And a good wife will likely return the favor.
- Complaints are ALWAYS better than criticisms.
A defining factor in how you well you’ll be able to handle a complaint is by how good you are at distinguishing it from a criticism. Criticisms are often personal attacks and seldom constructive. Complaints are typically based in fact. They’re objective. And if handled correctly, will advance the relationship further.
Now here’s the hard part … embracing your wife’s complaints.
It’s counterintuitive for most. It certainly was for me.
But now that I understand the benefits of every complaint my wife posts with my “Complaints Department” – I find myself less defensive, less irritable and more responsible for my actions (or lack thereof).
It’s still a daily struggle. But not like it used to be.
Your spouse’s complaints are only holding you accountable as a husband. And they’ll make you a better one if you can handle them properly.
It takes a confident man to realize this – and to truly take a complaint (something that seems negative) and make it serve your progress as a committed husband.
From one husband to another.