There is something that you want your partner to change, and you really mean it. Okay, but before you approach that person, you ought to ask yourself two questions: 1) What outcome am I looking for? 2) Is my method going to be pressure or persuasion? Concerning outcome, if you don’t know where you want to go, you are not likely to get there. Concerning method, pressure and persuasion don’t mix well. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. If you try to use both, you are likely to lose the effectiveness of each.
If you are upset with your partner, your intentions are probably limited to either 1) relieving your frustration by unloading on your partner or 2) getting your partner to change — stop doing something s/he is doing or start doing something that s/he is not doing. If you try to get your partner to change while also venting your frustration, you will probably encounter a resentful spouse who won’t change, no matter what s/he may say to the contrary.
There are problems with pressure as your method for getting your partner to change: Pressure and frustration go together well. Pressure is the method you are likely to use if you are already very frustrated. In your frustration, you are likely to come on with force and heat, as a result of which your partner will probably either to refuse to do what you want or agree but not follow through (passive resistance). Even if you do accomplish your purpose, with pressure harmony between you and your partner will almost certainly decrease.
On the other hand, if your method is persuasion and you want to succeed, you will have to work with your partner’s needs and priorities, and an increase in harmony, rather than a decrease, will be likely to result.
When you use pressure, you work against your partner’s resistance. With persuasion you work with your partner’s needs and wishes. It’s clear which approach is going to benefit the relationship more.