I first published this post on the blog Growing Together. I feel it has some great ideas that we can use to build up our marriage. Communication has not always been an easy area for my husband and I. We can talk about something and the words we are using just don’t seem to make sense to the other person. It can become very difficult at times.
Do you ever struggle with how different you are from your husband? Communicating with someone who is very different from you can be very difficult. At times it may even seem that it is impossible to communicate at all. There are times when I say something and my husband hears something completely different. No communication is actually happening at that point. We are two people looking at each other, sending words toward each other, but the meaning behind those words are seemingly not included. I have wondered how I can prevent these episodes from happening.
I have come up with a few things that we as wives can do to work on improving communication with our husbands. It requires a lot from us as wives to communicate with our men at times. I find I don’t want to put in the work because talking with women usually doesn’t take much work. I can easily communicate with my friends, and I want that ease of communication with my husband as well. I believe that investing in my marriage is too important not to put the effort into building up a better form of communicating with my husband.
Here are a few things we can use as tools to help us:
- Listen carefully to what our husbands are saying to us. As Proverbs 18:13 reminds us: “Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.” and James 1:19 “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”
- Think about his day and why he may be saying what he is saying. In Philippians 2:3-4 We are told “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” We are not the only people who have had a bad day. Don’t forget your husband has struggles each day that you may not consider as you come at him about your terrible, no good, very bad day. That doesn’t mean you can’t share with him your struggles, but be considerate as you do so, and stop and think about your husband and what might have affected his mood before he came home.
- Slow down. I get so caught up in a conversation I am already thinking about what I am going to say next.–and I am not always listening like I should be. This one goes along with the above verse. We need to be quick to LISTEN. Not quick to speak. So instead of focusing on what you are going to say next in the conversation. Really Listen.
- Pray in the moment. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Never stop praying.” When you are not sure what your husband is saying to you and you can feel your emotions rising, or confusion and/or rejection creeping into your heart. STOP and PRAY. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom to understand what is happening in that moment.
- Consider your husband’s character — When you are hearing hurtful things from your husband, stop and ask yourself: Is that in line with my husband’s character? Is it possible that what you are hearing is not really what he is intending to say. I know from experience that my husband doesn’t always get his words right. I find it easy to express myself in words, but at times my husband struggles to find the words to communicate what is in his heart. Perhaps he is simply getting the words all wrong and he needs some grace from you.
- Ask questions. I heard you say _________________. Is that really what you said, or did you mean something else.
- Don’t blame your husband because you didn’t understand what he said; by this I mean when you are communicating and emotions are beginning to rise, there can come a time when you (or I) hear something that wasn’t really said or wasn’t really meant. I tend to be a bit sensitive and I can easily jump on something my husband said and say “See you _________” . That does not benefit the situation. Keep your mouth shut if you feel the need to start blaming Him.
In marriage there will be difficulties, and we tend to hurt those who are closest to us the most. If you come away from a difficult conversation with your husband, just wait. Don’t think about ways to get back at your husband. Instead rest, knowing that God will care for you. And Pray for your husband’s heart to be receptive to the hurts you harboring.
Do you struggle with communicating with your husband? I know that I do. Daniel and I are very different and it can cause us difficulties at times. But I am thankful for the man who God has given to me, and I want to build a relationship with him that is a beautiful thing.