Communication: Is it THAT important?
The answer is yes! If your relationship is to grow and flourish, it will happen because the two of you have agreed to communicate regularly with each other. There are three simple principles that we have incorporated into our marriage that have helped us a great deal. These are the “when,” “how,” and “who” of communication.
First of all, learn when your spouse is at his or her best. I’ve come to realize that if I want to have a meaningful exchange with my husband, it will have to be in the morning when he is fresh and full of energy! Our breakfasts together have become very important times for nurturing our relationship through stimulating conversations.
It’s not just “when” that is important in marital communication, but we also need to pay attention to “how” we communicate. Are we sarcastic, cutting, and caustic with our words and tone? I have discovered over the years, that the tone of my voice can either create or kill a mood in a moment’s time. Although it has taken years, I am learning to converse in more gentle tones that draw my husband in and make him want to connect with me. Realizing how I talk to him has made a profound difference in our relationship.
There is one more aspect of communication that couples need to be aware of and that is the “who.” Depending on the topic of conversation, you may need to be talking in private. Some things are not meant for childrens’ ears. Likewise, there are topics that are not meant to be shared with ANYONE except your spouse. I have heard of women, for example, whose husbands have lost trust in them, because they have shared details about their sex lives with their girlfriends. Or, they have emasculated their husbands by criticizing or belittling them in front of friends or family. I cannot think of a quicker way to ruin a marriage than to do these sorts of things. If there are issues that need addressing, those MUST be handled in private
and with gentleness.
Is communication that important for a healthy marriage? Yes! But it is also important to remember the “when,” “how,” and the “who” of communication. Remembering these three words will help you make small but significant investments in your marriage relationhip.