Marriage Values: Honest Communication, Part 2

Dec 4, 2013 by



On Tuesday we talked about the value of Honest Communication. So today we want to look more at the strategy of implementing this value. What can we do to make sure Honest Communication is happening?

When we were dating, we didn’t go to movies. This is so often the thing to do. Now we often go to movies, and they are fun dates, but one of the benefits of not going to a movie and choosing to engage in other kinds of dates, was communication. I mean we began to have deeper dialogue, getting to know one another, and listening to each other’s hopes, dreams, and aspirations. We now choose those kinds of dates to make sure we are staying connected with deeper communication.

The strategy of dialogue helps us in this value by learning to listen. Jerolyn has always been good at asking questions, but we have both gotten much better at it. Learning to ask good questions has helped us to care for one another more, and really listen better because we genuinely want to know what the other is processing for life.

We have chosen to break down dialogue into four sections- basic life communication, facing conflict, heart sharing, and dreaming together.  This works for us and we have found it is effective for others. You may choose to categorize differently or change this a little but in essence these cover the majority of conversations (verbal communication) that initiate and develop honest communication along with those non-verbal communication tools. Below is a short description of each:

Basic-life communication– We all need to share basic schedules, calendar events, day to day life issues and expectations, we call this life specific conversation — who is to make sure what is getting done. Life-general discussion, which has nothing to necessarily do with the chores of the home, or day-to-day tasks, but is more philosophical about life, God, current world happenings, etc.

Finances are a separate, but critical part of the basic-life communication.  Finances are the #1 disagreement with married couples. Communicating about it helps in so many ways but most importantly helps each spouse emotionally commit to winning together in this area.

For those of us who are parents, we should discuss our children and our responsibility of parenting them well. We discuss this in many other places, but want to remind us of effectively talking with one another to love, discipline, encourage, cheer, disciple, and lead our children well.

Facing Conflict– This is basically learning to fight fair. How can you handle conflict resolution? We must commit to dealing with it because avoiding conflict only makes it worse. It will NOT go away. How are you agreeing to face conflict? In what ways are we choosing to do our best to help us win together?husband and wife talking

Heart-Sharing- This is choosing to save some words for one another each day to genuinely share about our day and open up our heart to one another.  Being transparent and celebrating life together — both the good and the challenging.

Men, this is a bit of a stereotype, but generally true, we do not listen well, and we often do not share as many words. We need to learn to do both better. Women, understand us and know we will not easily give away meaningful conversation. No excuses; just reality here for many of us. Women tend to have more words in a day to use than men. When we answer with one-word answers, we are not trying to avoid conversation, usually, but give a succinct answer and ready to move on. We can all improve in communication, and to have deep and honest communication we both need to learn to share appropriately, connect emotionally, and really learn to listen to one another.

Dreaming Together– We love this one! Dreams and sharing them with one another are so important. Jerolyn and I often say to one another thanks for living this dream and adventure, with me. Dreaming together and sharing one another’s dreams help connect us in deeper ways than we often ever knew. Hearing what we dream about and attempting to live out those dreams with and for one another is an incredible journey. As we dream, it helps connect us but also continues to cast the vision for our desired future — not just about our marriage but living life married and accomplishing those God-given dreams together.

Review the 4 areas and ask:

  • How am I doing in each of these areas?
  • How can I improve?
  • What areas do we need to address most?
  • When is the last time you dreamed together or honestly shared your dreams with one another? When is the next time?

~ Jim and Jerolyn



Related Posts

Share This

Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterCheck Our Feed