Several years ago, we had MAJOR communication issues in my marriage. I tend to just not communicate and am still working on being better at that. But how far I have come is quite remarkable. And my husband doesn’t always communicate either, but when he did, it was usually straight to the point of what he thought. Just to give you an example of how this went down… I would put some outfit on for church and I would ask him how I looked, (men, when women ask this they are usually looking for approval and a compliment)… and he would respond with a funny look on his face and say, “you are not wearing THAT are you?”
Umm.. yeah.. and so I would quietly choose something else.. because here I am- lack of communicator. He had no idea that when he did that it would hurt my feelings because I would NOT share that with him. I noticed resentment slowly building up in our marriage as it went along because of instances like this.
SO… who was in the wrong? Was it his fault or mine that this was happening?
I say BOTH.. We were both at fault. I was not showing him how to treat me and he was not making an effort to frame his words to be loving towards me. But the cool thing is, I was really the one that had control over this situation. All I needed to do was nicely tell him that how he told me those things was hurtful. It is not that he should bite his tongue and tell me that what I was wearing was not attractive. I am not saying that at all! I am saying, that if we are respectful to each other in the way we communicate, we can honor each others feelings and also communication style.
The interesting thing is my husband is the kind of person that wants to not sugar coat anything. He feels dishonest if he does that. He wants to get straight to the point of what his opinion is. And he appreciates others to do the same for him. He doesn’t want it lessened or sugar coated. But me on the other hand, If someone critiques something about me or what I have done, I want to know what they LIKE about it first. I need to know that all my efforts were not wasted. Because if someone cuts straight to the negative part, I feel as though everything I did was not acceptable. Even if that was the only thing they did not like. That is just the way I am. I think my mind is so naturally positive that if someone does not see the positive in my efforts and only criticises it, then I feel like my efforts were a waste. So when others give me their opinions, I would like to know first the positive things they see. and then my mind is totally open and willing to improve upon things. I work very well that way.
As you can see, my way of communication is directly opposite as my husbands. He feels my communication style is false and I feel his communication style is brutal. But this is just the way we WORK. It is our personalities.. And once we were able to understand this about each other, it became much easier to communicate. We are not perfect at this and instead of just quietly taking my husband’s criticisms, I gently remind him to also let me know what he likes or loves about it or me first. It is now just a reminder now. We have had plenty of discussions about this. And If I ask him his opinion about something, I first ask, “what do you like about it? and what would you change?” That way I can honor mine and his communication style. If I do not want a negative view and am just looking for a compliment I will say, “I would love a compliment on how I look…” Or whatever it is I am wanting a compliment on.
Two people from totally different families and upbringings can totally make things work. You can learn the best way to communicate with each other and teach each other how to do that. Be clear in your communication. If you want something. Tell them. Do not expect them to just read your mind.
What are your thoughts on this? Have you felt this way in your relationship? What methods have worked for you to have more clear communication?
I would like to invite you to enroll for my Becoming One course where I teach and give assignments that will help you open up your communication and get on the same page about things in your life. I teach in depth how to do a marriage mastermind meeting, and I talk about couples prayer- how awkward it was for us and how we overcame that and really skyrocketed that in our life. I talk about money.. ooh button pusher there! And also goals and where you see your life together in the future. If you both see yourself somewhere amazing in your future, you will be much more likely to work things out when it gets hard. You need that life vision to help you get past the hard stuff. And I will be adding another bonus week to it! (shhh it is a secret) And because you took the time to read this article all the way to the end, I want to offer a special price for you! Normally the Becoming One Course is $97.. but the price right now is $47 so that I can reach more couples. If you enter the code MM39 it will be only $39 at check out! PLUS everyone that registers before Saturday October 1st at midnight, I will give them a free one on one life coaching session. It can be for you or both you and your spouse. So what are you waiting for? Go!