When you read the title of this discussion, I know most of you said, “Of course I know how to talk”. And I bet many of you can talk with the best of them…probably talking too much. Now let me add three more words to this same question.
Do you know how to talk to your spouse?
Now if you are a prideful person, you may immediately say “YES”. For everyone else, this question should cause you to pause, think for a second, and then ask “Do I really know how to talk to my spouse effectively?”. I am going to go out on a limb and say that if you are asking yourself this question, you are on the “I want to have a healthy marriage” path. And double this if your spouse is asking this same question.
You should consider being able to speak to your spouse appropriately and effectively as a form of art. You can create a masterpiece of communication, or you can create a mess that neither of you wants to look at. The way you communicate with your spouse should be in a manner they best receive it. To do this, it is a must that you know your spouse… know their mannerisms… know their likes and dislikes … recognize and understand how your spouse communicates with you … and even know you spouse’s family history (how was he or she raised). With all these factors, you should be able to discern the best way to communicate.
I think many people make the mistake of communicating with their spouse the way they themselves want to be communicated to. BIG mistake. Your spouse is not you. Your spouse does not have the same personality as you … your spouse did not grow up in your home … your spouse may not have the same cultural background as you do. You can go on and on identifying ways that make your spouse different than you. The important thing to know is that your spouse has his or her own way they communicate. Find out what it is and adjust your delivery.
Your marriage can get stronger and stronger when you start to master this thing called “communicating effectively”. It’s also probably one of the toughest things to get good at, let alone master, in your marriage. Just think about it. If you master communicating with your spouse, there will be nothing that you can’t accomplish together … no trial that you can’t get through.
If you and your spouse are not talking to each other right now (effectively), take a step back and evaluate yourself first. Do I talk to loud? … To soft? … To harsh? … To calmly? … To direct? … To bland? Be sure to use the right mix for the appropriate conversation. Your outgoing communication style has to be catered for your spouse … not you. On the flip side, let your spouse know how you want to be communicated to. Open up your paths for great communication.
Do you know how to talk to your spouse? YES … and you are getting better.
Love hard and love true. Let us know your thoughts.