Guilty, guilty, guilt, I am so guilty of asking my husband this question thousands (okay maybe just hundreds) of times over the course of our 22-year marriage; but what I’ve found over the years is that even though every wife may not ask the question the way I do, many of them feel the same way… UNHEARD!
Now when I use the word “unheard”, I don’t mean you don’t think your spouse really didn’t hear you, but the question is, did they really understand what was being said? It’s like someone speaking a foreign language to you, but you really aren’t understanding them.Well sometimes, the same goes for communicating with your spouse;they may hear you, but did they really understand you; and of course,that’s the goal with all relationships and communication, to be understood.
Not only is listening a goal of effective communication, but so are many other… here is it… “teachable” characteristics. The loveable word here is “Teachable”! Effective Communication does not have to be unattainable or frustrating.Per Everette Worthington author of the book, Hope-Focused Marriage Counseling there are several interventions you could use to improve the communication between you and your spouse. But what I’ve found is that even though the book gives several tips on effective communication, if you just start implementing a few of the interventions, you’ve paved the way to effective communication in your marriage and your life.
Listed below are 5 ways you can make the communication between you and your spouse achievable and effective!
1. Communicate by loving them the way they need to be loved! In my last blog, I wrote aboutThe 5 Love Languages; find out your spouse’s love language and put it into action.
2. Communicate by loving them positively!Focus on the positive attributes of your spouse. Yes, we all know no one is perfect, but one of my mottos in life is “Whatever you focus on will grow”, if you focus on the negative that’s what you will always see in your spouse; but if you focus on what’s good and loving and honorable about your spouse that’s what will grow in your lives together. Compliment them on what they do well and not nag them on what they don’t do at all!
3. Communicate by listening more! This brings me back to my introduction, “Did you hear what I said?” One thing I’ve learned in life that everyone in life,(regardless whether they admit it or not), just want to be loved, accepted and heard! No one likes to be ignored, so this makes listening, one of the most important characteristics in communication to develop. Listening is a Blog all in itself, so stay tuned for my blog on “Effective Listening Skills”.
4. Communicate by sharing your values! Sharing your values, in opinion is one very important but overlooked communication technique most couples omit in their relationships. Sharing values such as religious, family and even financial values are a big component of effectively communicating with your spouse.
5. Communicate by creating time to communicate!We all have heard the saying, “We create time for everything we want to create time for!” Well the saying is true in all aspects of life. There is no better way to make someone feel special than to create time for them in your life. Whether it’s inviting them to an event, scheduling them in your calendar or making a date to just hang out and chit chat; and a spouse or significant other is no different! Creating time can be one of the biggest barriers in the lives of couples or relationships especially where children are involved. So, protecting the boundaries of communication and creating time to communicate is vital to creating an effective communication life between you and your spouse!
As I mentioned earlier, there are several other interventions you could use to help move you and your spouse toward effectively communicating with one another, but the ones listed above, if put to practice in a habit-forming manner, are a great start!
Remember, being married, in a relationship or being coupled is work! There are no perfect marriages and no perfect couples! According to the American Psychological Association, almost 50% of marriages end in divorce and one of the main reasons beside finances those marriages fail is because of a lack of communication.
So, I admonish you, study, yes, I said “study” your partner, learn how they desire to be loved,love them positively, listen to them more, share your values with them, and create time to communicate with them EFFECTIVELY!!
Love, Kisses and Teacups!
Always in His Grace!