Effective communications between husband and wife is a critical activity that will help them obtain a long-lasting happy marriage. Many bad things will start to happen in your marriage if you do not communicate with your spouse, such as misunderstanding leading to hurt feelings and then resentment. Talking things through with your spouse or simply having a deep conversation with your spouse will go a long way for the relationship.
I would like to call upon my 30 plus years of marriage to share some advice and tips on communicating with your spouse mostly from a man’s perspective (since I am a man). A man naturally wants to protect and provide for his wife and family and communicating is a critical part in accomplishing that. There must be cooperation between the husband and wife to share information, thoughts, issues, and goals.
Make your thoughts and feelings known as soon as possible when an issue or challenge arises. Don’t wait until months or years to tell your husband, for example, what horrible thing he did. He may not remember, especially if it was an emotional outburst. Tell your spouse when something bothers you and when things make you happy. We cannot correct our behaviors or activities if we are not aware of the issue or the effect of our actions or words on our spouse. So speak up and make it known to him or her.
Avoid Emotional Outbursts
Emotional outbursts are a quick way to get your spouse to shut down or become defensive, resulting in the underlying issue not being addressed. No one wants to be yelled at, so don’t do it to your spouse. If you do, and we do sometimes, then simply apologize and try harder the next time to contain your emotions.
Talk About Money
Husband and wife should talk about money. Discuss your goals and how you will accomplish it. Discuss projects that you’d like to embark on, such as a new kitchen, deck, bathroom, etc. Talking about money and being disciplined to abide by any decisions you both make will go a long way to build trust and respect in the relationship.
No Solo Decisions
Avoid making a decision on your own about things that will affect the two of you. The husband will not appreciate it if his wife goes on her own to secure a loan for something, for example. Talk to him about it first and decide together on the course of action you will take. Now, I understand that there will be solo decisions sometimes, but those are for things that don’t necessarily affect the two of you. For example, I wouldn’t discuss with my wife the kind of vehicle I want (unless it is to be a family vehicle).
Always discuss things with your spouse and make decisions together where appropriate. Otherwise, the effects of those solo decisions may cause strife within the relationship and begin to erode trust as well.
Talk About Your Children
Children can easily be a cause of contention within a marriage. One spouse appeases the children and the other wants to be more disciplined, for example. It can also happen that the mother, for example, takes sides with her child about an issue or challenge without discussing it with her husband. The husband will feel as though he is in conflict with his wife and child, instead of them acting as one unit for their children. Making decisions without discussing things with your spouse will also degrade the trust between the two of you.
Engage Your Spouse
Don’t wait for your spouse to come to you to discuss something. Sometimes initiate a conversation with him or her about anything. You don’t have to limit your discussions to issues and challenges, but rather expand them to goals, general conversation, the Bible, etc. As a matter of fact, I believe initiating a conversation about the Bible and what you’ve been reading and studying (you should be reading and studying your Bible as a couple) will go a long way to build a strong marriage.
Take “Under the breath” Statements Seriously
Sometimes people say things under their breath so to speak, i.e., mumble something. We may easily take that statement for granted and miss something that is very important to that person. If your spouse says something seemingly out of nowhere and not with his or her full volume of speaking, then engage. Sometimes, we say things lightly just to see who is listening and sometimes we want the other person to engage, which shows a level of care. Therefore, engage your spouse when he or she says things lightly.
Talk At Bedtime
It’s good when the husband and wife go to bed at the same time when possible. You can take that time to talk about things while you lay in the bed with each other. Keep the conversation light because one or both may begin to nod off to sleep.
Always Address The Issue In Conflicts
When there is a conflict between husband and wife, and there will be, then be sure to stick with the issue. Avoid angry outbursts and mere fighting. Instead, focus on the issue at hand and work to resolve it. You may not like what your spouse has to say, or you may not want to say what you need to say to your spouse. However, it is best for the relationship that you address issues and works to resolve them. Compromises may be made, and you may need to swallow your pride. The objective is to keep the relationship healthy and happy.