Needing Clarification on Control vs. Communication

Hi Brooke,

I feel I need some clarification regarding control vs. communication. I know my communication skills need work, and often I don’t communicate some things because I don’t want to come off as trying to control another person. Like I feel like I don’t know the best way to communicate so that I’m coming from a place of love, and then I don’t know what my expectations should be after that. According to the model and the way you view the world I mean.

Example: My husband connects with the world on a intellectual / logic level (if you are familiar with Carol Tuttle, he is Type 4 energy). He doesn’t get other people’s emotions to a large degree (his words, not mine). He often comments that our oldest child is hard for him / very difficult because that child is emotional. Our oldest son connects with the world on a more emotional level (if you are familiar with Carol Tuttle, he is Type 2 energy). There are times when my husband says things in front of my child that I really don’t like. Like “he never listens” or more directly “you’ve been nothing but rotten this morning.” To me, these are forms of emotional abuse, particularly detrimental to someone who is more emotionally connected to the world. I’m not okay with it. If I am present, I don’t want to just let that happen, so I might say something like, “Love, that’s not helping.” Or “How about we don’t talk about this in front of him” – and my husband will either ignore or respond with something like, “No, it’s true. That’s how he is.” I get that I can’t control what my husband does, only influence at best. And I know it’s important to come from a place of love in communication. And I know that it’s important that I focus on me and what I can control (and I do a lot of work around working to change the ways in which my behavior does not serve my child – and even talk about those things with my husband and my child – I know nothing is one-sided). But where I am confused is what is the best way to handle things like this – to communicate from a place of love and establish boundaries – but not have expectations?? In your opinion, (1) what is the best way to communicate when something someone is doing is a real problem for you / those you care about, (2) what is appropriate when it comes to boundaries about those things (like say we have a chat and decide that (a) we don’t talk like that in front of our kids, and (b) we don’t correct/call each other out in front of our kids – which is my general reaction – and my hubby hates that), and (3) what is appropriate when those boundaries don’t happen because we are human (like when that kind of talk happens or when one of us corrects the other)? What would you say is appropriate to do to maintain full responsibility of my bit and communicate better in marriage / have a better partnership? I feel like the times we’ve talked about this before haven’t resulted in any real change and I don’t know the best way to deal with situations like this.