Last week we began a series on communication in marriage. We are talking about 3 different areas of communication: non-verbal communication, verbal communication and third party communication. Today we will look at verbal communication.
At the risk of sounding unromantic, I (Megan) have to admit that most of the time Justin and I have to really spell out our thoughts to each other. By that I mean we have to clearly state, “This is what I want (desire, need) from you and here is what you can do to fill that want (desire, need)”. Now I know all the romantics reading this are disappointed that any partner in marriage would need asking or reminding to fulfill gestures of kindness or acts of love. The reality however is that it definitely isn’t romantic to become bitter, resentful, angry or just plain miserable in your marriage because you are not willing to voice what your spouse can do to make you feel loved.
Ladies, if you’d like flowers more often, or date nights, or romance, or whatever…subtle non-verbal hints may not work. And if you’re thinking, “But it would just be more romantic if he decided to do this on his own…” that may be true. But if he hasn’t gotten the hints, it’s best to just come out and say it. Tell him exactly what you need. Tell him you’d like him to come to bed at the same time. Tell him you’d like flowers more often. Ask him to find an evening in the next 2-3 weeks for a date night. And guess what…if you do this for an extended period of time (and by “extended” I mean many years) he’s going to begin to understand your personality and your love language and will by God’s grace begin to do these things more automatically as your marriage matures. If not, then at least you are regularly communicating your needs rather than being angry, frustrated and miserable.
And guys, you’re not immune to this either. If you’d like your wife to encourage you more often in how you provide for the family, let her know you need the encouragement. And if you need her to stop reading facebook and blogs for an evening so you can catch up, ask her to do so. And if you need her to be more available for some physical touch, tell her you crave physical touch. Non-verbal cues don’t always work. Remember, as a couple you are now “one flesh”. Your actions, thoughts, and emotions will have an impact on the marriage relationship. And communication isn’t optional – it’s going to happen either verbally or non-verbally no matter what. We believe it’s best to let it happen clearly and verbally with one another.
We understand that for some people marriage is more difficult than just clearly communicating your needs, wants or desires to your spouse. Sometimes marriages encounter so much selfishness and self-centeredness that no matter how clear the communication the end result is the same: indifference. Our hearts hurt for you. This is not how marriage is supposed to be. We encourage you to keep at it. Work through your differences and misunderstandings if your spouse is willing. Get help if you need it. Make the hard choice to love your spouse even if you are not getting much in return. Know that we pray for marriages just like yours everyday that God would do something new and you would experience His grace in your life.
Leave a comment and let us know how clear verbal communication enhances your marriage relationship? We love hearing from you!
Linking with: The Alabaster Jar Marriage Mondays