I have talked to several of my “Married Mama Friends,” and they all have admitted that in their marriages, communication has been an issue–even after 15+ years! You would think that after so years of marriage, you would know your spouse well enough and they would know you enough to know what to say and what not to say to each other. So, if we know our spouses to well and we should have already mastered the communication skills, why do we take offense to what our spouses say? Why do we get angry and it causes arguments? Why don’t we listen to one another? Why are our communication skills so poor?
I believe that the biggest reasons for poor communication are having distractions, reacting too quickly, not communicating enough, and not respecting one another while communicating. Here are several ideas and tips on how to better communicate with your spouse.
Take away any distractions- I know that as soon as we hit date night, I have been guilty of picking up my phone and texting whoever back, looking on Facebook or turning on the radio when the conversation goes dull. Have you ever been there? What about children? Have they ever interrupted an important conversation that you and your spouse was having? Think about a conversation that you and your spouse have had in the past where a distraction came up and it made communicating with them turn bad.
- Have a technology-free date night. Leave the cell phones, iPads, laptops in the other room at home while you are communicating with your spouse. There is nothing more annoying than trying to communicate with someone while they are on their phones. You are unsure if they are hearing you. Do you continue to talk or wait until they are done scrolling? It shows complete disrespect to people that you are communicating with when you are stuck on your technology! Put it down, make eye contact and make up your mind that you will not have any distractions from Facebook or text messages while trying to communicate with your spouse!
- Teach your children not to interrupt your conversations. My nearly grown children STILL try to interrupt while my husband and I are talking..and they know better! Instead of cutting your spouse off, cut your children off (unless they are bleeding or need you!) and let them know that you are talking. If it’s a very important conversation, get away from the kids! Go outside, in the bedroom, so they can’t distract you. And if they need you in another room…teach them to knock!
Don’t go to your spouse when you are extremely mad or upset- Often times, I will get so frustrated at different things and react way too quickly. When the problem is “fresh” then we tend to be meaner when we are trying to communicate. When we are angry, we don’t communicate, we yell, we fuss, we fight! I read somewhere where if you have a problem with someone, wait 24 hours, if you still have an issue with them after the 24 hours have passed, then talk to them…if not then it wasn’t a big deal to begin with. I don’t know if I would go that extreme, because I know some people, the more you hold it in, the madder you get..or you withdraw from your spouse. That’s not good either. You know yourself and if you react to quickly or if you hold it in, it becomes worse. Find a happy medium. If you are a praying person, pray before you talk to your spouse if you think that it can turn into an argument.
Communicate daily- With some couples, their schedules are different, their spouses are out of town, their spouses are deployed..so it makes communicating harder! But, there is always a way to communicate with your spouse daily! I know when I usually talk about technology, it’s that we spend too much time on it..but if you don’t have a lot of opportunities to communicate with your spouse, make a point to text with them during the day, an e-mail. If you and your spouse are at a point in your marriage and you don’t know what to say to them, let them know you are thinking of them, mention a happy time in your marriage, if you have children, let them know something that they have done recently. Make a point to say something POSITIVE to your spouse EVERYDAY even in the midst of an argument or even if you are separated. Positive words can be just what makes a marriage turn around.
Respect your spouse- I have been guilty of when my spouse is trying to tell me something that has bothered them, I will instantly get offended and fire back at him! If your spouse is coming to you and trying to communicate with you, whether it be general communication or actually needing to talk to you, respect them. Try not to take offense so easily. Listen to their words, because they could be hurt and lacking communication skills themselves. Not during this conversation, but at a later time, express how they hurt or offended you during that argument and how they can change how they approach you.
I believe that Satan knows how to use communication as a weapon in marriage. He uses it in every single marriage. He might serve it differently in different marriages, but he wants us to have issues on communicate. Satan does not want us to communicate, but fight. Satan wants to see us taking offense to our spouse. Remember that if you are having issues with communication in your marriage, that flesh and blood (your spouse) is not your enemy!
When you and your spouse realize you are on the same team instead of on separate sides, your marriage will become stronger!
Lord, I pray for communication in all marriages because I know all marriages have had struggles with it. Lord, help us not to take offense to what our spouses have to say, but rather see it as they are hurting and not knowing how to communicate it to us. Help us to recognize distractions in our marriage and learn to lose those distractions during communication time with our spouse. Help us to make more time to communicate to say. I pray that when we communicate that what we are trying to say will not be disturbed and come out wrong to our spouse. Help strengthen our marriage and our communication skills! Thank you, Lord, for the marriage you have blessed us with!
Until next time….be encouraged!!