One of the biggest complaints that I hear in most marriages stems from communication issues. More specifically, the lack of communication. The grumble is usually from a wife who feels as though she is pulling teeth when getting her husband to open up. On the flip side are the men who swear they just aren’t natural communicators (in the way that women would prefer them to be at least). They aren’t really in tune with their emotions and would really rather not discuss them.
Communication was also a big issue for my husband and me in our marriage. I talked about everything under the sun which included everyday topics, but also my aspirations and dreams. He easily participated in the everyday topics, but when I discussed my goals and dreams, he mainly listened. My husband has always been really great at supporting me, but communicating his future hopes and goals weren’t all that simple.
In most cases, the reasons our partners struggle in this area is because they basically don’t know how to communicate. Other times it is a fear of judgment about the information to be shared. Taking a conversation beneath the surface and opening up completely makes us vulnerable; it’s hard to be totally vulnerable, even in a marriage.
If you are not sure whether or not communication is on your marriage improvement list, keep reading.
Ask yourself the following question, “Do I know enough about my spouse to write a book?” I mean a good juicy book, one with tons of details which would allow the person reading to gain a crystal clear understanding of who this person really is. It would highlight such things as what brings them joy and what they are afraid of. If you have enough material on your spouse to write this type of book, you are in a great place, (keep in mind, only some of this information can be gathered by what you observe, but mostly based on the things your spouse has told you).
However, if you couldn’t write a book right now, believe me you are not alone. Don’t be discouraged. Ask yourself what information you feel you are missing. What do you want to know that you don’t feel you do? How can you have this conversation with your spouse? Also, asking your partner how they best receive and deliver information will provide a better understanding of his/her communication style. Be open and ready to slightly alter your style if need be, based on the information your spouse offers. Remember, we have to create a safe place for our partners to open up.
Communication will continue to be a struggle in marriages, but working towards improvement requires effort from both partners. Each must be willing to sacrifice in this very crucial area for the overall good of the union.
BMWK, Could you write a book on your spouse? How would you grade the communication in your marriage on an A to F scale? What tips do you have for better communication?