When you’re driving a vehicle, your objective is to get from one place to another.
With communication (especially in a marriage), that goal is no different. Healthy communication is your destination and words are your mode of transportation to get there.
I don’t know about you, but learning how to drive wasn’t a breeze for me! It took time and practice, but eventually I got the hang of it and got my license!
Learning how to communicate with your spouse is the same way. It takes time and practice!
Read on to find four tips on how to become a safe driver on the road to healthy communication with your spouse:
The first order of business before operating a vehicle is to buckle up and put your seat belt on. Your seat belt protects you and can save your life if an accident occurs.
When communicating with your spouse, your seat belt is love. It’s what projects you, your spouse, and children (if you’re parents), from the harm that words can cause. Always wear it by choosing words that are supportive, kind, respectful, and sincere (especially in times of conflict).
Start Your Engine
A vehicle cannot move without a key being put in the ignition. With communication, the ignition represents your intention.
Where are you trying to go and/or what are you trying to achieve with what you’re about to say? Take responsibility for your message (and its delivery). Sometimes the car may not start or it might make noise, meaning – you can’t control how the other person responds to you. But you can control what you say.
Think about that before you crank up.
Check Your Mirrors
This is an activity we often overlook when we’re driving, because once our mirrors are positioned to our liking, it’s easy to go a long time without adjusting them.
When talking to your spouse, be sure to check your mirrors by checking for understanding. Some simple ways to do that are:
Always strive to be clear with your message to leave less room for misunderstandings.
Ask open-ended questions that don’t require a yes or no answer
Paraphrase what the other person is saying and/or ask questions to get clarification, such as, “What I hear you saying is….” “It sounds like you’re feeling…” “Can you give me an example of when…”
Keep Up With Maintenance
Just like your car, your marriage requires maintenance. Get regular tune ups by spending quality time together on a regular basis. Don’t get so caught up in your other roles as parents, care givers, employees, business owners, etc., that you forget to be husband and wife. Staying connected always improves how you speak and respond to each other.
Always give your best in your marriage, because we all know what happens when you put cheap gas in a luxury car!
Are you a good driver?
BMWK – Tell us in the comments how you’re working to keep the vehicle of communication in working order in your marriage!