Why Couples Must Communicate

May 28, 2014 by

husband and wife looking at each other

 

A couple of weeks ago at our marriage conference, a couple told us they took our Friday night “homework” to heart. They spent 2 hours discussing the topic we had assigned. This young, married, parents of a 3-year-old later told us that couldn’t remember the last time they had an uninterrupted 2-hour conversation.

We hear this again and again. Couples will take the time to discuss the basics of life – household needs, who’s taking the kids where, and what’s for dinner. But when it comes to meaningful conversation, they are falling short.

In other words, we have a bunch of men and women living as roommates/co-parents and missing out on the joys of a marital relationship because they never talk. Truly talk.

Why is it so important?

As people, if we are not growing as human beings, we are at least changing. You don’t just reach 21 and become a fully developed adult. Many of your basics beliefs may stay the same, but your viewpoints, desires, and dreams can evolve and change. If we fail to take the time to sit down and have conversations with our spouse, these changes in our life will happen without them ever knowing it.

After several years of this, you will one day be sitting across the breakfast table from a stranger.

Too many couples believe they can just “hang on” through the child-rearing stage and really thrive as a couple once the kids are grown. What they don’t realize is the distancing process began long before the children left home because they failed to be intentional communicators.

We talk about 4 areas in which you can categorize a couple’s communication.

Basic Life Communication
Facing Conflict
Heart-Sharing
Dreaming
(You can find these 4 areas broken down in our post on Honest Communication, Part 2.)

So many couples say, “But we are too busy to have a meaningful conversation.” We want to challenge that statement. Are you really too busy or have you failed to make your marriage relationship a priority in your life?

We choose to allow many things or events to take precedence over working on our marriage relationship.medfrd2713

  • Career
  • Children
  • Hobbies
  • TV
  • Internet
  • Friends
  • Sports
  • Clubs

And the list can go on with multiple sub-categories. We have to take responsibility for our choices and take the time for our spouse that they deserve. If we are serious about having a life-long relationship with this person, we certainly should desire to know who they are and who they are becoming.

Where do we begin?

Set a daily time to connect. It doesn’t have to be for a long period of time. But have time every day where you look into each other’s eyes and talk about something besides getting the car repaired. We usually connect right after work while making dinner together or on the patio later in the evening.

Set a time weekly to date each other. This doesn’t have to be extravagant or costly. A date can be a cup of coffee in your living room. We’ve made Friday morning breakfast a priority. Wherever you choose and however you choose to do it, have a date where you can focus on one another.

Set a time once a quarter to get away together. Maybe it is for a whole day or for over-night, but get away and have some fun together. We love a day trip to somewhere like Napa or an over night at a hotel. You married your spouse because you enjoyed being with them. So take some time to “be” together.

Set a time once a year to have a “state of the marriage” conversation. Go to dinner and have an open and honest conversation about where your marriage is doing well and where you have challenges. Then establish a plan on how to improve it.

We do live in a hectic world, so we need to be intentional in communicating effectively in our marriages. We must make it a priority so we avoid growing apart and continue enjoying growing together.

What is your communication plan for your marriage?

~Jerolyn

 

 

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