spouse communication in relationships

 SPOUSE COMMUNICATION- HEART OF ALL RELATIONSHIPS

Thank you each so very much for taking the time to complete my survey last month! Getting your feedback is very important to me, so I can keep writing about what you’d like to hear. That’s why you are reading anyway, right? Spouse communication in relationships was the topic of choice and one that is very relatable to many. The ability to communicate is like having an added sense along with seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling. Distinct communication styles make us who we are and it makes life more interesting and powerful. It’d be so sad to not be able to express “I love you” to your husband or wife. There is such power behind that small three-word phrase. Spouse communication in relationships has a huge impact on our daily lives and in the little eyes of our children who are watching every day. 

So, relationship communication took the cake by all of you who responded. This is super important if you want to maintain a healthy marriage and friendships, so I’m glad it ranked high. The heart of our relationships is spouse communication.  It’s an area I struggle in and am constantly working on and pushing my husband, Ryan to do better as well! Be honest, be kind, be respectful when communicating and make sure you maintain good listening skills in return. Nobody’s born a natural communicator. It’s a skill you learn just like riding a bike, shooting hoops, or hitting a baseball. These skills take a lot of practice and require a lot of time and effort, but in the end, spouse communication in relationships is the key and something very important to maintain to make life more enjoyable with the one you love most! 

FIRST THINGS FIRST

For those of you who haven’t known me my entire life, I finished college at the University of Northern Iowa with a passion for public relations and marketing. Just because I graduated with a communications degree, doesn’t mean I’m great at it. More often, I suck. Ask my friends, they’re likely shaking your heads yes as you read this.

It can be a struggle for me to spit out the correct words the way I’m hearing them in my head. Anyone else?

I don’t mean to come across the way I am so often taken, as sarcastic or judging.

I’ve gotten into a rut of trying to get the words out fast enough and use fewer words, so I don’t lose my listener.

You can tell when who you are having a conversation with has checked out…or trying to come up with an escape plan. They give you those body language cues. Looking around more, responding like they are still with ya using, “uh-huh” or “yes” a little too much. You know what I’m talking about. They cannot wait to break out on the run from the conversation.

Or I get stuck with word vomit that comes barreling out and takes me longer to reexplain what I meant to say in the first place. 

 

ISN’T MARRIAGE BEAUTIFUL

So, when it comes to my marriage similar spouse communication issues arise. I’m working in the corporate world and he is working on a farm. Complete opposite ends of the spectrum, but I want to feel in the loop on his day to day tasks and activities. Is that too much to ask?

When you ask, “How was your day?” And the response you get is always, “Fine.” Yeahhhh, not getting a lot there. Spouse communication needs to be a little more than one-word responses!

My suggestion to you is, 

keep asking. Keep asking how his day was and keep digging! Once you break through the surface, he’ll slowly let the wall down to have a conversation including specific details. Think of it like asking the kids how their day was, doesn’t work. They tend to open up more when you ask specific questions about their school day right? 

Spouse Communication in a relationship can remind one of a river. When you are and your spouse has thoughts and feelings flowing smoothly between each other it can be fun with feelings flowing smoothly. When the flow switches to more turbulence it can become dangerous and destructive and can build up with a lot of pressure. Just like when communication becomes turbulent a person can build up with pressure, and when pressure builds up rage is exposed, just like raging rivers. Raging waters can come out suddenly into a flood which is disastrous and harmful to them all. When it’s all said and done and eventually everything dries out so can communication. It can dry up all the love and communication that once was holding everything together is once gone.

MAKING COMMUNICATION YOUR #1

So try it! What are you out? I usually start with either audience with, “How was lunch” (because my interest lies around food) 

  • It’s easy to respond
    • It’s usually a pinnacle break period for anyone’s day. Not like asking, how did 9:15 AM treat ya? What is significant about that specific time of day, right?
    • It’s an open-ended question that leads to talking about moreWhat did you eat?
    • Was it good?
    • Did you even eat lunch? (usually Ryan’s days are jam-packed that he doesn’t sit down for lunch, and just grabs something on the go at the gas station). Totally brought on by himself, save the empathy.

If you are both on the couch for some chill time for the night holding your phone in your face, don’t be surprised if the convo is stale. If you are on yours, he’ll likely be on his. Oh, how spouse communication has changed with the evolution of cell phones and the Internet.

MARRIAGE ISN’T PERFECT 

Ryan caught me on this one, I’d complain he was on his phone too much and he said that I was doing the same thing. I wasn’t realizing after failed attempts to talk to him while he was on his phone, I’d give up and end up on mine. Valid point.

 One night after putting the girls to bed, we were sitting on the couch together. Ryan’s usual nightly lounge spot of comfort is across the living room in his recliner. While this was a nice change, I decided I’d lay my head on his chest while “we” watched my TV show even though he was on his phone. This story could go all romantic. Rather I had made several pleas to get off his phone and watch the show with me. It was This Is Us, which he usually would get into but he continued to scroll on. Eventually, his phone slipped from his hands, landing on my head! Ouch! Thanks, buddy!

With that, I got up and said I was going to watch it in bed. I didn’t even finish brushing my teeth and he was already in bed WITHOUT HIS PHONE. Boom. Two points for Dawn.  Nope, my marriage isn’t perfect. That night, in particular, our total spouse communication was off. Marriage won’t end overnight and having spouse communication relationship issues is totally normal. Everyone always needs something to work on. 

 COMMUNICATION IS TALKING AND LISTENING TOO

 Ladies, if you want them to ask about you, start by asking them! Spouse communication in relationships starts by taking the lead!

  • We don’t want to read their minds, so don’t expect them to read yours
  • Ya gotta stand your ground and be committed to listeningIf you get annoyed with your partner for walking away in the middle of a convo, then practice what you preach. 
  •  If they aren’t looking they probably aren’t listening. The old interpersonal advice still stands true.
  • Listening is the most important side of the conversation. Grab their attention and see their response!
  • Get off your damn phones! I’m readily aware of what decade we are in, but I’m thinking I’m much more old school. I cringe when I see couples on a date and they are both on their phones! Side tip, a friend years ago said she and her husband have “phone-free Sundays”. If people need to get ahold of them, they need to just come over to talk to them. 

I loved this! Even if you try to do it 1x a month, think of the connections you will get with the people who are taking up space with you! The unfortunate reality is we all don’t know how to talk about talking, and there is a guarantee that you will never agree on everything! Good spouse communication in relationships is rarely taught to men or women, but a happy marriage needs to include love.  When we’re communicating we need to make sure that the love flows frequently between our words! 

If you need a boost in doing this, another great read would be about getting comfortable being uncomfortable by picking up some confidence tricks to be able to have these conversations with your signification. Sometimes we have to feel the stomach jitters to have those tough talks.

Good luck out there, you can do it! Keep trying to break through the surface responses of “fine” 

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