The Importance of Communication in Marriage July 05, 2016 08:30
Communication in my marriage was never my strong point. I guess that is why I cheated on my husband and left him. It almost seemed easier than talking to him and telling him what was wrong.
My husband and I had a blissful honeymoon, and even the first few weeks were spectacular. All of a sudden though, I was left to wonder if I had actually married the wrong person. We seemed totally opposite in everything we did and said. Our biggest problem was lack of communication. We would literally send emails back and forth to talk because we had no idea how to talk to each other.
We had a horrible time trying to express our feelings to one another. Eventually, we just started using our words to hurt each other. I despised what our marriage had turned into, and after a few months it was too hard for me, so I left.
Two years went by and we were actually able to reconcile our marriage. However, we never really fixed the issues that we had. Nothing really changed in our relationship. Fast forward another year and a half and I was pregnant with our son. Followed by a second son, and then came our surprise little princess. We had an infant every year for 3 years. Conversations revolved around diapers, bottles, and leaky nipples. It was not glamorous, and it was not romantic.
Our oldest is now turning 6, and we have finally figured out what it is we need to do. We don’t do it right every day, but we now know the most crucial parts of marriage most overlook.
Being completely and utterly honest and open with our feelings is number one in our marriage. Some days it even looks raw and ugly. Some days I don’t want to; some days it hurts to be truthful with my feelings. My feelings mislead me all the time. Not only have we decided to never hide our feelings from each other, but we’ve decided to also be good listeners. That is really difficult-- trying to understand where the other spouse is coming from. Great communication in a marriage is so vitally important. It takes practice.
We also realized there was something that we thought we were doing right all along, but we weren’t doing it correctly at all. No matter if you’ve been married 5 days, 5 weeks, or 55 years, date night is important. Date night is important to oneness in marriage.
Most people think date night is a luxury. We are too busy, and it is too expensive, especially when you need a babysitter. Date night is essential to all couples no matter what stage of life they are in. Date night gives you the opportunity to sit across from the person you're married to, the person you love the most in this world. Date night gives you a relief from doing the mundane tasks of life.
It is a time to listen, to connect on the deepest level. I suggest turning your phones off so that you can get the most out of date night. I have such a hard time with this one. I want to check on my kids at home with the sitter and I want to look through Facebook, but I know I shouldn’t. Date night shows your spouse that you believe in your marriage commitment.
A crisis doesn’t always mean the marriage has to end. We learned this the extremely hard way. When communication was lacking, and when date night was not made important in our marriage, I was led astray easily. I was tempted, and I had no self control to say no to the things I know I shouldn’t do. I had multiple emotional affairs to make me happy; to give me the emotional satisfaction that I wasn’t getting from my husband. Now, of course I know it isn’t really about my own happiness. It is about my husband's happiness. While I focus on trying to make my husband happy, he almost always turns it around to make sure that I am fulfilled in our marriage.
In between all of this, the most essential is time. We are busy people. We work full time, we have children, we have hobbies, and we have friends. Making sure that we give undivided attention to our spouses is so very important. Any successful relationship deserves and requires time to flourish, and grow. A marriage needs intentional time to sit down and talk. Deep emotional conversations will happen when we give intentional time to our spouses. I suggest scheduling it. As silly as that sounds, when life gets busy, it is easy to look past the need for this quality time with your spouse. If you schedule it ahead of time, you’ll be more likely to complete the task.
Do we get this right every day? Heck, no. We still struggle with finding time, we still get busy, and sometimes we have to do couch dates because we can’t find babysitters. However, in all of it, my main goal is to make my husband happy. I want to show him how much he means to me. I need to be reminded some days when I am not doing my hardest to remember what it’s all about, but I am happy to try again the following morning.
Megan McLemore is a wife and mother to three amazing children, two of which are on the Autism spectrum. When she's not busy managing the controlled chaos that surrounds family life, she is either at the gym, relaxing with her sweet husband, or writing about her life experiences. Her family resides in Florida and she is active with the Sidewalk Advocates for Life. Be sure to check out her website, www.UnfathomedGrace.com, and follow her on Facebook.