Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Trick of the Trade–Communicate!

communicate with your spouse

Ryan and Becky

I am FAR  from an expert in this department, but I’ve come a LONG way in our almost 10 years of marriage.

Let’s begin with how I USED to communicate:

I’d pretty much expect my husband to read my thoughts, and know exactly what I was feeling. I would often get mad, clam up, and expect him to know I was mad and figure out why, all on his own.

Sound familiar? Thankfully, our pre-marital counselor caught on to this (I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that every other women in the world is this way) and pointed out that I needed to start talking to Ryan, telling him what I was feeling. My initial excuse was, “Well, I still haven’t sorted out my thoughts, and it may come out wrong” pshaw! Yeah right. So what if it does?! That’s all part of marriage.

So…NOW…if Ryan does something that bothers me, I always work hard to tell him as soon as I get a moment, calmly is key! Try not to insert emotion, just state what it is. If we don’t say anything, nothing’s going to change! Don’t fool yourself into thinking he’ll get it from subliminal messages, or maturity down the road, that’s idealistic wishful thinking that I apparently had at one point. INSTEAD, talk to him so that you two can grow together as a couple. And when all else fails, PRAY, PRAY, PRAY. I guarantee you that is why my relationship with my spouse is as good as it is. Prayer, and God working in us.

Now that we’ve discussed conflict…there is more to communicating with your husband solely regarding conflicts! And the advice is the same – TELL HIM WHAT YOU’RE THINKING, FEELING, AND WANTING!! There are SO many different examples for this line of thinking. For example, if you want an extravagant trip for your 10 year anniversary, TELL HIM! If you don’t, TELL HIM! Don’t secretly desire a gift for your birthday or Valentine’s day, then be disappointed when you don’t get it. I know it sort of takes out the “magic” of it when you flat out tell him, but think of how much happier you will both be!! You won’t be disappointed, and he won’t feel like he’s in the doghouse because he didn’t read your mind. Win-win ladies!

Now with all this said, don’t get all demanding and needy. I mentioned above that God is what grounds my marital relationship. And the Bible states,

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21

So while it’s great AND okay to tell your husband what you’re thinking, feeling, and wanting, you need to do the same for him. Try do observe what he’s thinking and feeling. Try to predict what it is he wants. And when you don’t know, ask! What’ve you got to lose?

I hope this equips you in your marriage this week…particularly with Valentine’s quickly approaching. Change your Valentine’s this year! Don’t be disappointed, tell your hubby what it is you would like. =)

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