By Debbie Manigat
My husband and I have been together for nine years now and I can’t wait to celebrate our ten year anniversary! We dated for three years, were engaged for two, and have been married for four… yeah there was some serious courtship going on there and deep, deep reflection because we wanted to make sure that this was a “forever type of love” and not just two hopeless romantics “infatuated with love”. As I reflect on how we’ve made it this far, I can honestly say that one thing sticks out is- sincere communication.
We promised each other from the beginning, no matter how bad the fights, how crazy the in-laws, or how we may grow and change that we’d always talk and share how we felt. As a result, I’ve come to identify five core communication truths that not only get us through our daily life, but that I also think will help you and your special someone in your walk of love.
5 Truths to Transform your Communication:
1.) Give your marriage attention on a daily basis- at least 15 minutes of meaningful dialog. The focus of this dialog should be on your feelings about each other and your life together- NOT about what happened at work, what some crazy driver did on the highway, or what’s going on in politics, etc.
2.) Be curious about each other and give your relationship the same priority and attention you gave it when you were first dating- ask lots of questions. Babe, do you still like going to…? Do you want to do something different this year for the holidays? Do you want to try new things in the bedroom? Do you like it when I… (you fill in the blank and have fun!)
3.) Be willing to self- disclose by sharing your innermost thoughts and most private experiences. This is where your outside life comes in. Share how you really feel about your co-workers and boss. Share how you feel about the presidential race without worrying about being judged one way or another; share what’s new with the in-laws or a new embarrassing moment.
4.) Good communication happens when you choose to make your primary goal understanding rather than being understood. This is one of the hardest parts of communicating to a spouse- especially if you are in the midst of a heated argument. I know firsthand that I always want my husband to understand where I’m coming from, but in the end that usually backfires as if I’m not listening to him or understanding his point of view. So I’ve learned that it’s best to make my primary goal to listen and be understanding, once he realizes how open I’m am, he will in turn give me the same respect.
5.) If problems still continue, seek counseling before they become too overwhelming or seem irreparable. There’s always hope and healing in matters of the heart; don’t give up, seek the help you need to make sure you both are satisfied.
Debbie Manigat is a Writer, Marriage Mentor/ Counselor, and co-owner of Divine Motivation, a Faith-Based Lifestyle Empowerment Firm… Follow her @DMotivation or “like” them on Facebook: Divine Motivation, LLC. Their organization website is www.divinemotivationllc.com