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What Are We Talking About? - I Do Every Day - July 23, 2023

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What Are We Talking About?
By Carlos Santiago

Before we got married, it seemed like everyone had a bit of advice to offer. The most common phrase I heard was, “Marriage communication is key.”

I loved this. My bride-to-be and I spent hours talking on the phone. Obviously, we were experts in communication.

After the wedding, it wasn’t as though we suddenly stopped talking to each other, but conversations once filled with hopes and dreams for the future morphed into discussions about schedules, bills, and dinner plans. Physically, we were together more than ever. Yet a few months into our marriage, I remember feeling a little cheated—We connected more before we married! What happened?

Our problem wasn’t that we weren’t talking; it was what we were talking about.

Conversations had descended into an endless stream of status reports. Information was exchanged, but there was no depth, no increase in intimacy.

Our marriage communication became shallow and so did our relationship. If we were going to improve, we needed to recognize that all communication is NOT created equal.

Here are four things we learned.

1. Deal with the fear.
Some conversations bring up deep convictions and emotions. We adopted this rule: If it is important enough to think about, it’s important enough to talk about. True, the conversation might not be pleasant, but intimacy requires that we share what’s really going on inside of us.

2. Find the right time.
Often, delicate conversations fail, not because of malice or bad intentions, but simply because we chose a bad time. Eliminate as many distractions as possible and make sure you are both well rested.

3. Don’t try to win.
Good marriage communication means you fight the problem, not each other.

4. Find your core needs.
Begin with knowing what it is you want to communicate. Exploring your “whys” not only helps your spouse understand you, but it helps you understand yourself.

Need more help in the communication department? Read “5 Communication Tools that Saved My Marriage.”

The Good Stuff: There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Proverbs 12:18)

Action Points: What’s one issue you’ve avoided talking to your spouse about? Grab a sheet of paper or make a note on your phone. Then answer the following to make a game plan of discussion:

  1. What’s the issue at hand?
  2. Why is this important to me? To my spouse?
  3. How can I approach this topic while keeping my spouse’s best interest at heart?
  4. What’s the best time to communicate this to my spouse?

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