Seven ways to improve communication with your spouse

Statement of Faith

We believe that God created man and that He created them male and female. As such He created them different so as to complement and complete each other. God instituted monogamous marriage between male and female as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. Therefore, we perform and mentor marriages in accordance with Biblical guidelines. (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6; John 4:16-18; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 5:11, 6:9-11. 6:18-20, 7:1-3 and 7:8-9; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:3-7; 1 Timothy 1:9-11)

Hey,
guys.

When we’re having communication problems with someone we care about,
it can be frustrating, it can hurt, and it can have us feeling
defensive. I’m going to tell you give all of that up and trying these
tips instead.

Focus. Look
your partner in the eyes and give all of your attention. Observe your
tendency to get out of the connection.

Monitor your
thought.
 As your partner speaks, are you
listening or thinking of your response? Are you evaluating what they
are saying? Stop that and just allow what your partner is feeling to
sink in.

Respond
nonverbally.
 Are you nodding or saying “hmm,” or
something to let them know you are tracking? Let them know you are
with them and truly listening.

Watch your
defensiveness. 
If you are feeling defensive, by
all means, do not say anything. Count to twenty. If you need a
timeout, take one and go away until you cool off. Do not defend
yourself or counterattack.

Empathize. Communicate
back what you have heard: “So, Amy, you really feel by yourself, even
when I am here. Wow.” Use the formula: content + feelings = being
understood. 

  • ”So, the way the kids act when I’m not here
    is just too much sometimes.”
  • “Yeah, I see. When I have to work a lot,
    you begin to feel that you don’t matter to me as much as my
    job.”
  • ”So when I want sex and we haven’t really
    talked, you feel kind of used.”
  • ”That’s awful, I don’t want you to be in a
    place like that.”

Don’t
try to fix it. 
Avoid
advice, explaining, or trying immediately to make the feelings go
away. There will be a time for that. Connect first just through
hearing.

Don’t make
it about you.
Don’t answer with something about
yourself. Listening is about the other person.

As I have said, reconnecting with each other involves your hearts
being known. And there is no way to be known if you are not listening
to each other. If you’d like to hear me talk more about investing
into your marriage, you’ll like this conversation. 

Until next time …

Cheers,

Henry

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