Thursday, November 3, 2011

What Did You Say?

I think we can all agree that communicating in marriage can sometimes seem like the two of you are speaking in foreign tongues.  You’re saying one thing, they’re saying another and you’re both trying to figure out how to get your point across.  You may even hear a statement like, “You just don’t listen to me.”  Or you may even be thinking, “He didn’t hear a word I just said.”  Well, that may be partially true, but I’d like to offer a technique to help smooth the communication waters.  I encourage you the hear what they’re not saying. Huh?  Hear me out…
Sometimes when we’re attempting to get our point across, we have so much emotion behind it that, instead of effectively saying what needs to be said, we ramble on a bunch of emotion-filled words.  Well, emotion incites emotion, so then our spouse begins to respond to our rant and you end up in a fruitless discussion and neither of your needs are being met.  So you have to develop the art of hearing what they’re not saying.  Learn to listen for “clues” to what they’re really trying to say. For example: Your spouse may say, “I thought you were going to be home when I got off from work and now I have to warm up my food in the microwave.”  What they really might be saying is, “I missed seeing you when I got home and was looking forward to us having dinner together.”  I know…you’re thinking, “I’m not a mind-reader!”  And I’m not asking you to be.  But I am suggesting that we have to dwell with our spouses “according to knowledge” (1 Pet. 3:7).  Dwelling with them “according to knowledge” means that we should “study” our spouses and learn their habits, their moods and their innuendos.   When we do that, we’ll be able to discern when their saying one thing, but mean another.  And once we get that, we can respond with love and with the answer that they really want or need to hear.  So in the above example you can respond, “I’m sorry, sweetie, that I wasn’t here for dinner when you got home.  I enjoy our dinner time together, too.”  Ha!  Lay that on them and see what happens!
Is this technique easy?  Nope!  Is it worth it?  You betcha!  Communication is the oxygen to our relationships. Every skill that we can employ to perfect the art of communication should be high on our priority list.  Because if we don’t, our relationships will be devoid of life and then we’ll start thinking about the “D” word and we are NOT having that!  Marriage Ain’t for Wimps!
Happy Communicating!  I’d love to hear your thoughts.
To Marriage With Love,