Family Ministry

advice, thoughts, and discussion

But I thought you said…

on August 21, 2012

My husband and I tend to communicate well…but every so often, we hit a bump in the road and it can tend to be quite frustrating. For example, we were driving home from our vacation yesterday and discussing our plans for two weeks from now when we attend a friend’s wedding back in our home town of Buffalo, NY. My husband said, “so since we’re staying at my parents’ house…” And at that I knew we had a problem. I was SURE that I had made plans to stay at my parents’ house. Does it really matter? No. But it did to me in that second.

Making a long story short – we argued. We got angry and we hurt each others feelings. And I thought, “we’re good communicators…after all we’re pastors.” But, apparently, we aren’t as good of communicators to each other as we should be sometimes.

I decided to do some investigating and found an article on my go-to website (Focus on the Family). Here’s what I found in “Learning to Communicate”

“A Non Sequitur cartoon by Wiley Miller pictures a couple in bed. The wife has put down the book she’s been reading and said something to her husband. Here’s what he heard: “Time for the annual review of how you make my life a living nightmare.”

All she actually said, though, is, “Sweetie, let’s talk about us.”…..Most couples need help to discuss their needs in a productive way. Having different attitudes toward talking doesn’t mean there is something wrong with either spouse, that anyone was deceived, or that the marriage is hopeless.”
Now, I didn’t feel like I was being neglected or that my marriage was hopeless, but I did feel like I wasn’t being listened to. And my husband and I have only been married for 6 1/2 months. I can only imagine how I would feel if my husband and I continued to have communication problems for years and years. So how do you improve communication?

One of these ways is simply not implying your spouse can read your mind, and Making time to talk:

“Here are five steps to doing just that:

  1. Keep your promise. Many couples, at their weddings, light a “unity candle” and blow out their individual candles. That symbolizes husband and wife dying to themselves in order to give birth to something new and much more intimate, beautiful, and mysterious—”two becoming one.” One of the best ways to become one is to spend time together, and that can happen when you and your spouse talk, celebrate special occasions, set goals, go shopping, pay bills, play tennis, or study a devotional book.
  2. Be intentional and selective. Everyone has the same amount of time—24 hours a day. Avoid being sloppy with yours. Manufacturing more time isn’t possible, but you can make excellent use of what you have by allocating time to talk and do things together. When that time comes, make sure you’re rested and not rushed or preoccupied. If talking really is a priority for you, you’ll say no to time-stealers like sitcoms, reality shows, and the Internet.
  3. Be creative and perseverant. Talk about a variety of subjects—solving problems, overcoming challenges, establishing goals and priorities, your spiritual life, preferences, and just having fun. Start small and build. Some couples tend to have unrealistic expectations. This may result in discouragement, criticism, and blaming. Remember that bonding and connecting don’t happen overnight.
  4. Enjoy and encourage uniqueness. You and your spouse aren’t alike. Think of how awful and boring it would be to be married to yourself! Those conversations wouldn’t be very interesting, would they? As you spend time together, resist the temptation to try remaking your spouse in your image. Let the Holy Spirit transform both of you into the image of Christ. Allow and encourage your spouse to be the person God has created him or her to be, and enjoy that person.
  5. Be loving, respectful, and patient. The gift God has given you and your spouse is each other. In the end, He’ll probably be less interested in your professional success or how much money you made than in how you nurtured the gift He gave you in marriage.”

What do you do to promote healthy communication in your family?

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