I pray that your first full week of 2018 was nothing less than spectacular!
For the next few weeks I am going to be talking about communication. Today I want to focus on friendship…..I know you are supposed to love your spouse but be honest, do you even like them? When the outlook that you have toward your spouse is negative, it impacts your ability to communicate effectively.
According to H. Norman Wright, there are 6 Messages in Couple Communication:
1. What you meant to say
2. What you actually said
3. What your spouse actually hears
4. What your spouse thinks you said
5. What your spouse says about what you said
6. What you think your spouse said about what you said
Are you taking the time to listen? Listening is more than what’s being verbalized but is also about the things that are not said as well.
So, what is the antidote for negativity in the home……Friendship! When your spouse is your friend, your road dog, partner, ride or die, the love of your life or your boo thang, you choose more carefully the words that you allow to come out of your mouth. You will not want to hurt them because you care about their feelings. When you genuinely “LIKE” your spouse, conversations are more about coming to a resolve and understanding the problem at hand versus who got in the last word and won the argument.
TRANSPARENT MOMENT: I remember early in our marriage between years 1-3 we would have arguments where I felt the need to follow my husband around the house to get the last word in, as he was trying to get away from me to avoid. Can anyone else relate? I was very confrontational and my husband was the opposite. If he felt like an argument was coming on he would shut down. This would make me angry because I needed to go back and forth as I was trying to prove a point, I needed to be heard in that very moment! I wanted him to hear everything I needed to say right then and there instead of waiting until later to allow cooler heads to prevail. That type of communication only harbored contempt, criticism and defensiveness. In the end it got us no where, fast!
I had to learn to speak to what I wanted to see come forth in my husband. If I wanted the responsible, caring, loving, level headed person that I knew he could be, then the way I talked to him had to match. You can’t talk to someone like they are a fool and expect a Kingly response….its just not gonna happen!
So, your homework for this week is to work on your communication. How do you talk to your spouse, like a friend or foe? Are the two of you even on the same team?
I want you to think of something thoughtful to do for your spouse that you don’t normally do that shows you put in effort to really be nice. Be vulnerable, show the softer side….you can do it!
It could be something as simple as picking up their drying cleaning without them asking you to because you know they need it. Or maybe you clear the dishes because you know they are drained from a long day. Maybe you volunteer to make their favorite meal. Or perhaps you just send them a text to say thanks for all they do. Those little things go a long way and make it harder to fight when you genuinely care for one another.
Let’s not allow the daily hustle and bustle of life to block the reason why we fell in love to begin with. Your marriage started with a friendship and will only thrive by the same. Let’s nurture our friendship first with our spouses in 2018 and watch the other things fall into place.
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Until Next Week!
Your Marriage Coach