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How to Improve Communication in Marriage

 

Sound familiar?

“Good Morning Babe, Thanks for doing a great job at falling asleep as I poured my heart out to you last night.”

“GOOD MORNING MY LOVE, OH HOW I ENJOY WAKING UP TO YOUR SARCASTIC TEXT MESSAGES. I GUESS NOW WE’RE EVEN SINCE YOU NEVER LISTEN TO ME.”

“See, there you go, always taking stuff out of context and making it about you.”

“I WOULD MAKE IT ABOUT YOU BUT YOU ARE ALWAYS ON YOUR PHONE!!!”

“Maybe I would get off my phone if you would stop binge-watching crap on Netflix.”

“GOTTA FIND SOME WAY TO ENTERTAIN MYSELF. IT’S BETTER THAN LISTENING TO NAGGING AND YELLING!”

“I’ll stop yelling in real life when you STOP YELLING IN TEXT MESSAGES & EMAILS.”

“YOU’RE SO PETTY.”

“I learned from the best.”

Ouch.

How we speak to our spouse is extremely important. As you can see from the example above things can get messy real fast. What assumptions would you make about this couple? Would you think they just met or have been married for a while? Generally, communication goes well in the beginning stages of a relationship. All those warm fuzzies we get when we are getting to know each other make us feel connected. Over time familiarity starts to breed contempt, and we find ourselves taking cheap shots at someone we once handled with care.

When you are seeking to grow close you care about how you come across. This kind of caring creates a connection. And if you want that connection to be sustained you maintain a level of sensitivity in your correspondence. Connection creates an openness and sense of oneness. But somewhere along the way we get wounded, feel disrespected, or maybe even rejected and we start to withdraw. When we stop making consistent deposits of consideration and kindness our connection starts to break down and so does our communication.

I don’t want to hand you a checklist of what to do, or a script on what to say to improve your communication. I want to instead prompt you to ponder what is taking place in your heart. The Bible tells us, “. . . Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45) The greatest reflection of what’s going on in your heart is what’s coming out of your mouth. Take our couple above. If you revisit their correspondence can you gauge from the tone of their text messages what might be taking place in their hearts?

Communication techniques are fine for therapy sessions and fun activities to participate in at marriage conferences but in the heat of an argument, they can make a person feel like a pawn in their partner’s game. Ancient wisdom says, start with the heart. Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. Proverbs 4:24 & 25 (NLT) If you care about someone you naturally want to hear what they have to say. If you want to connect you will be slow to speak so that you can choose your words wisely. And if your ultimate goal is oneness you will won’t be so hasty to get offended. Rather than jumping to conclusions you will seek to gain an understanding.

Communication White 2018

I will offer you a list but not for the purpose of pointing your finger at your spouse. The following 5 suggestions are for YOU to be reminded that whether our communication is non-verbal, verbal, or written if we maintain a heart connection healthy communication will follow.

  1. Avoid using terminal language. Never say “never.” Don’t always use “always.” (Apologize for the use of terminal language in the past.)
  2. Be intentional. Give your spouse your undivided attention. List some areas in which you desire to improve your non-verbal communication skills with your spouse.
  3. Check your tone to preserve your home. Reflect and repent for any use of improper tones in the past. Write down Proverbs 15:1, post it in a public place in your home.
  4. Seek to deposit, not withdraw. Share 3 things you love about your spouse with your spouse. Sometimes we tell others what we appreciate about our mate and fail to tell them personally.
  5. Create a connection, avoid rejection! Look each other in the eye for at least 2 minutes daily. (Studies show that passionate eye contact coupled with stimulating conversation causes people to fall in love.)

Solid Marriage Support Proverbs 15 1

 

If you are tired of communicating about bills, work schedules and household chores with your spouse try discussing 36 Questions that lead to Love or Create a Closer Connection

Click the link above. It should take you about 1 hour to complete all 36 questions. It’s the perfect activity for a date night.

For more tips and tools like this connect with us on Facebook.

 

 

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Boundaries in Marriage

Solid Marriage Support2

On December 17, 2018, my husband and I will celebrate 19 years of marriage. It blows me away that we have now been married for longer than we had been alive when we met. As a high school junior and senior we became besties. 25 years later we are still fostering friendship. We’ve made it our tradition to not just celebrate our anniversary, but to celebrate the covenant of marriage.

In honor of our anniversary, we use to host marriage enrichment events called “Covenant Parties.” A Covenant Party was a reception like evening filled with sharing, dancing, dining, communication games, and a vow renewal ceremony. As much as it seemed special when we first began hosting, with each passing year, the word “covenant” sounds more and more antiquated. The more old school it may sound to the masses the more meaningful it becomes to me. Modernization might be great for marketing but often diminishes meanings that we need to be reminded of.

There’s a scripture in Proverbs that says,

“Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set.” (22:28 NKJV)

This is referring to land markers which were pretty important in biblical times. A stone indicated where your property ended and where your neighbor’s started. Removing a landmark was a way of stealing property. Can you imagine what it would feel like if your neighbor changed your property line? The results could be costly and your rapport with your neighbor would be changed forever. When sacred concepts lose their meaning, I believe the enemy gains ground, and we lose territory.

Take notice of the two signs below.

PrivateProperty

publicEntrance2

There is a big difference between private property and a public park. Private property implies that the land belongs to someone, and they have reserved it for their own private use. Public access indicates that the area is open to the public. In marriage, It is just as important for husbands and wives to have clear boundaries as it is for a landowner to have proper signage posted. My husband and I set clear boundaries early on in our relationship and the more words like “covenant” seem to have lost their meaning the more meaningful words like “boundaries” have become to us. Boundaries preserve what is good and protect from what is toxic. Affairs are not intentional, but being intentional about setting healthy boundaries can help safeguard you against an affair.

Boundaries front 2018

Early on in our marriage one of our favorite couples asked us an interesting question. They said, “Do you all love each other enough to share if you ever found yourself having feelings for someone else?” That question led to us to do 3 key things if we ever found ourselves feeling chemistry with someone other than our spouse.

  • See it

  • Say it

  • Be set free

When we confess our faults and feelings to our spouse we can expose the enemy and safeguard our marriage against temptation. Below are a few questions you and your spouse can answer to aid you in the process of setting healthy boundaries in the 5 highlighted categories. (Think of preferences, pet peeves, pitfalls, and triggers in the following areas.)

1.  What boundaries would you like to see your spouse have at work?

2. What boundaries would you like to enforce amongst friends?

3. What are some ways to set physical boundaries?

4. What are some necessary emotional boundaries? (Guard your heart.)

5. What are some boundaries to implement with strangers?

This year we will celebrate our covenant by sharing tips, tools, and testimonies that will help you build your marriage on a solid foundation, nurture lasting love and connect with other couples. We hope you find this information useful. If you like it share it with your friends and invite them to connect with us on Facebook