Listening Blocker number 9 of 10 is Derailing. This is taking the smooth train of great communication and throwing it off the rails.
#9 – Derailing
In derailing, you change the subject or joke it off whenever the conversation becomes too personal or threatening to you. By misdirection or humor you avoid listening to your spouse’s serious concerns.
Derailing, or misdirection, is such a common blocker that we all use from the time we are young children. When Mom or Dad comes around and wants to know who broke the window, we suddenly find we have the ability to talk on any other subject except that window. In our marriages, when we know that tough subjects are about to be brought up, we also become experts on any other subject but the one being brought uo.
For example, Linda said that she thought that Larry should cut down on his drinking and staying up late by himself. Larry, knowing that he was staying up late by himself so that he could view pornography on the computer says, “Hey, with my stress level I need the drink in order to calm down a little and by doing it late at night, the kids never see it, so you see, there’s no problem right?”
Well actually there are many problems but derailing and misdirection are two of the largest going on here. Derailing is always the start of a lot of other bad behaviors. As you can see from this example, Larry is outright lying about what he is really doing up by himself late at night. Soon when he gets found out, and he will get found out because all sin always gets found out sooner or later, then he will have one more thing to derail about.
Instead, Larry should come clean and address each of Linda’s concerns and talk about why he is drinking and why he is turning to pornography instead of turning to her.
If you sense that derailing is happening in your marriage, then by all means do not be afraid to call it out. Derailing usually is one of the first bad behaviors that happen, so if you catch it when it starts, you usually have more than enough time to talk things over with your spouse. Again, we always do things for a reason, and it is better to talk about those reasons with our spouses instead of derailing and trying to avoid the tough conversations.
Ok, tomorrow night will bring this series to a close. I look forward to seeing you back tomorrow and as always, if you know of anyone else who could use this information, please share the link to the blog with them!
Pastor Brad Komgenick