Well I was planning on having one more post on bad communication but i've been having a HUGE block and really feel like i've said enough on that topic for now so we're going to move on. :o)
Let's talk about good communication now. As we've already talked about before, everything you do can communicate something to your spouse, from the words you say to your body language. Just like you can negatively communicate those ways you can also use those to positively communicate. Use your body language and eye contact to show your spouse that you're actually listening to what they're saying.
I think listening is one of the most important parts of communication in a marriage. How can you ever effectively communicate with your spouse when you never listen to what they are saying? When you find yourself disagreeing with each other, it can be so easy to stop listening and start forming your argument in your mind. I know sometimes I get caught up with trying to prove my point and get Colby to see things my way that while he's talking I am thinking about the next thing I want to say. Can I just say tell you right now...that does nothing for effective communication!
Another time you need to listen is simply when they are talking about their day or things that can even seem like nothing important to you. I am a stay at home mom of 3 little ones who all love to talk all.the.time! With that being the case, sometimes when my husband gets home at the end of the day I don't want to listen anymore. If anything I want to do the talking and just have him listen because i'm so excited to finally have an adult to talk to and discuss something other than princesses and batman! But it's so important to remember that conversations and effective communication are a two way street, you both have to talk and you both have to listen.
I think communication is especially difficult for men. Guys, some of you just weren't made to need to talk. You're just fine saying very little and hearing very little for that matter. But you need to understand that women need to talk. We need communication. We thrive on it, and through it our love for you can grow. My pastor always taught something that I thought was so perfect and described it very well. He said "Guys, as much as you need and crave sex, women need and crave communication!". It's true, we crave it.
So many guys think they don't need communication but here's a little secret for you...guys need communication just as much as girls need it for two reasons. The first reason they need it just as much as girls do is because, in that communication is the information needed to make their marriage last another year. You will never get to the point in your marriage that you can stop communicating with one another, there will ALWAYS be more to discuss, more to learn about and more to simply talk about with your spouse!
The second reason is this, men, if you are not talking to your wife someone else is! Women crave communication and if you are shutting her off from you and communication with you, you are opening her up to emotional and even physical affairs. Just as men can drift towards physical affairs when their wives are not meeting their needs physically, women can drift towards emotional affairs when their husbands are not meeting their needs emotionally. By doing these things and shutting your wife off from communication with you, you are creating the conditions for a perfect storm.
You have to make a point to set aside special time to just talk to each other. Talking with your spouse is an amazing way to stay connected to each other and if you don't actively choose to stay connected to each other Satan will make sure that you stay disconnected. Make communication a priority in your marriage, but remember, priorities aren't determined by what you say they are but by the time, energy and resources you invest in them. As hard as it may be to continue or even begin to communicate with your spouse don't give up! Remember Galatians 6:9 says "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."
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This post is linked up with Time Warp Wife, Raising Homemakers and Women Living Well.