Thursday, February 7, 2013


My favorite part of blogging is reading your comments, so today I'm asking a question.

My husband was on a panel with four men at a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Meeting. The moms in the group had a chance to ask the men any question they wanted. I was surprised at the consistency of most of the questions - they had a lot to do with communication.

My question is this: If you're married, what is the most important thing you've learned about communicating with your spouse? If you're not married, what have you learned about communication while observing couples you know?


  1. HONESTY is at the top. Lies get you no where REAL FAST.

    Secondly, HEAR. Don't just listen to what your spouse says....HEAR what they say. Absorb it and act on it if necessary.

    Be OPEN. Don't hold back on things you want to tell your spouse. Your spouse should know when they have hurt your feelings, or when you need something. Remember though, being open doesn't mean being means being completely open about how you are feeling, what you are needing, how you are doing, what you want, where you want to be, how you want to be treated...and the list goes on and on.

    Finally, remember that communication is a two way street. What YOU need out of communiation is also what your spouse BOTH need to be heard!


  2. I would have to say that listening...really key. Sometimes we hear but don't hear and the spouse needs to know we are really attentive and really "get" what they are saying. Some days that is harder than others!

  3. -men do well with word pictures
    -remind him that if you are venting, to just listen, not to fix the problem, just LISTEN as you yammer on about why her shoes annoyed you...which really translates to the fact that she was shopping with someone else and you'd already made a shopping date that she forgot about
    -women think in spider web formations, while men thing in a wall of drawers. WE can zip from one subject to another and somehow connect them, but men pull out a drawer, deal with the issue, close the drawer and open the next one

    And the last *one*?
    Thank him for being your anchor. Tell him you appreciate all he does for you and your family.
    An emotionally healthy husband wants to be our Tarzan. Our Mr Right.
    Trust me.

  4. I'm not married, but man, my parents model really great communication. Not always perfectly, because hey, nobody's perfect. But they're so good about tempering their words and tones...saying what needs to be said, but not in the height of emotion. I can see how they've adapted to each other's communication styles over the years...even in non-marriage relationships, that's such a good lesson to learn.

  5. Jennifer B. - you bring up a lot of great points! Be HONEST, really HEAR what s/he is saying, be OPEN to share what needs to be said, don't be MEAN, but speak your feelings in a truthful, clear manner & remember that you BOTH need to work at communication to make it successful. Thanks!

    Sherrinda - I know exactly what you mean. There are so many times we might be in the same room and one of us is speaking, but the other is distracted by kids, works, television, etc. Taking time to stop, listen and acknowledge the person who is speaking is key to great communication.

    Wendy - you touched on a HUGE issue when it comes to communication between husbands and wives. Men and women are so different - we think a man should be able to figure out how we're feeling, what we need, what we want, etc. - but they don't - or can't. And that's okay! God made each sex unique and wonderful and we need to embrace those things that make us different. Speaking clearly and expressing ourselves in a healthy manner is the best way to communicate.

    Jennifer M. - you touched on a hot topic from last night's discussion! Women like to air it all out there, often to organize their thoughts - and men want to jump in and fix things right away. I think the key to all great communication is to be clear about your expectations up front. If I don't want my husband to try and fix the problem, but simply to listen to me, then I need to make sure he understands his role in the conversation. :) When my hubby and I were first dating and I would talk and talk and talk - he would be absolutely silent and I didn't feel like he was listening. Finally, I told him: "You don't need to add anything to the conversation, but an occasional 'uh-ha, or sure, or yes' would be nice to hear, so I know you're listening." That's all it took!

    Melissa - I love to hear about your parents, because they are such a great example of a healthy marriage. One thing that strikes me, and I'm sure if we asked them they'd probably agree, a great marriage takes a lot of hard work! We might be really compatible and have a great Biblical Foundation - but it's the day in and day out commitment to making a marriage work and run smoothly that really impresses me. I have a feeling your parents worked hard to have a beautiful marriage - and it's so worth it. :)

  6. Most important thing. Say what you mean the first time. Women like to dance around stuff (more so than men--most men tell it like it is). My husband can't read my mind and it's frustrating when I try to make him. So I've learned to tell him straight up what I mean, clearly. Less bickering, confusion, and frustration.

    Also, it's important for couples to get alone time (date night) even if it's free--time in the park, a drive, something. So they can be grown ups and just talk, laugh, cut up!

  7. It is okay to "table" conversations, especially if things are getting heated and you're losing focus. And it's never "If he loves me, why would he (fill in the blank)?" Never bring into question whether your spouse loves you. Always start with the foundation that you love your spouse and he loves you.

  8. Oh my word, what a great topic. I find that I'm often TOO direct and I DO want him to give me solutions (I don't fit the mold of womankind!). So I get irritated when he DOES NOT jump in and solve my problems.

    One HUGE thing I've learned is that there is such a thing as OVER-COMMUNICATION. Your hubs doesn't need to hear every tiny detail of your day, from the spit-up on your shirt to the moldy bread episode. Sometimes, we put TOO MUCH INFO on our hubbies--things we should be sharing with FRIENDS or family, not him. I know it's hard when you're more isolated (when kids are little), but now we have the internet, and it's so easy to make meaningful friendships with like-minded moms and authors online.

    So I guess my advice would be not to over-communicate--it's overwhelming for your hubby. And I say this b/c I'm guilty of doing it many times. Then again, I'm not like many women, and I tend to come right out and say whatever's bugging me. I don't repress much! Hee.

  9. I second what Beth said! I've learned to put some hot topics on hold till later. For some reason my husband and I always seem to dig for the not-so-easy-to-solve-issues right before bed...when I'm exhausted and my patience is gone! Not good for communicating nicely. :)

  10. My natural instinct when I'm hurt is to withdraw. But that can kill a marriage. It's possible to withdraw so much your spouse no longer knows you. So take a risk--even if it hurts.

  11. Jessica - I agree, alone time is so important when it comes to keeping lines of communication open. My hubby and I are going on a date tonight!

    Beth - great advice. I agree, we need to walk into communication with the foundational truth that we love each other - no matter what is said, no matter how we feel. And tabling a conversation is really important when emotions are running high. Sometimes we need to give it a couple days, so we can come back with rational thoughts.

    Heather - I can't tell you how many times my hubby will look at me and say: "Why are you telling me this?" :) Yes - sometimes over-communicating is just as bad as under-communicating! In all things, discretion should be the best advice. :)

    Lacie - yes, when we're tired, crabby, hungry or frustrated with other life issues, it's always good to put the discussion on hold! As long as we don't repress it indefinitely!

    Lindsay - what I love about communication is that everyone approaches it differently! It's also what I hate! :) My hubby and I are both talkers, so we approach our issues head-on, but I know other couples who withdraw and need to work on pulling their spouse out. I think the key is knowing where our strengths and weaknesses are - and doing our best to think about what our marriage - and our spouse - needs.

  12. Talk about everything! The weather what you had for lunch today, what you spent, how mad you are how happy your are. Talking about everything gives you the skills to talk about things that are hard to talk about and the things you need to talk about.
    I sometimes do all the talking but this was advice my husband gave to his little sister who just recently got engaged. :)


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