The Mr. and I have been married a long time. Longer than you’d probably guess. And one thing that we have found over these wonderful married years, is that communication is key. As trite as that may sound, hear me out as I share a few scattered thoughts on the subject:
We have seen so many of our married friends find their relationships on shaky ground (and ours has had its share of teetering on the edge of a precipice too), and often, it can be traced back to unhealthy communication habits. Not necessarily lack of communication, but lack of skilled communication. – It’s not rocket science, but chances are, it will take some re-wiring of our natural tendencies.
Not many of us marry our twin. Often the way we tick is very different from the way our spouse ticks. We may love to discuss important things the minute we walk in the door from work, while our spouse is still debriefing from the day. Our spouse may prefer to discuss important things first thing in the morning, when we are barely awake yet! – We all have our preferences. But we can all find compromise. Love is worth it.
Our compromise has been establishing a weekly date night, and guarding it with our lives. We don’t always go out, but we do always set aside uninterrupted time to connect and talk over what’s going on in our lives. Phones off. TV off. Undivided attention. –
Somehow, anticipating this time, we both can coach ourselves into being in the right frame of mind to communicate openly. Neither of us are caught of guard. We’re both coming to the table (so to speak) ready to talk. And that can make all the difference.
“Ambush discussions” usually end badly. In fact, they usually start badly too! One party is pushed to the breaking point over some issue or another, and emotions lash out. – But this week, why not try to save that issue for the time that you both have set aside specifically for heart-to-heart connection? I promise you, it will be much easier to talk through when the heat-of-the-moment emotions are yesterdays news.
And one last word: don’t be afraid to say exactly what you’re thinking and feeling (with grace and humility of course). Your spouse needs to know what’s going on inside of you. They cannot read your mind. They need to know what hurt you. They need to know what disappointed you. They need to know what is important to you. They need to know what brings you joy! *And side note: they need to know what you love about them, and what they do right too!!!*
Unvoiced expectations, and unvoiced appreciation are a recipe for disaster.
So don’t be afraid to share your heart. And when your love shares their heart with you, love them enough to respond. Make their priorities, your priorities. Because that’s what love does. Thinks of another above itself.
Here’s to a week of great communication! Have you learned any helpful tips for communication over the years? Share them with us in the comment section…