#3 Tip for a Thriving Marriage - Positive Communication

Communication is the heart and soul of any vibrant and growing relationship.  This is especially true in the case of marriage.  Marriage is a process of two becoming one.  It further specifies that these two are, at a very basic and primal level, one another’s opposite number – to be precise, they’re male and female.  For obvious reasons, two different people representing the two distinct “halves” of humanity can’t hope to mix and mingle their hearts, minds, and souls successfully except on the basis of a solid mutual understanding.  This is why effective communication is indispensable to any thriving marriage.

We should clarify that communication isn’t simply a matter of words.  It’s something far more robust and proactive than mere talk.  Like the two-in-one blend it facilitates, communication is an ongoing process.  It aims at the establishment and maintenance of a deep heart-connection.  It’s based on good listening skills as well as clear and honest self-expression.  It involves openness and empathy – a willingness to enter into the thoughts and feelings of another, to weep when he or she weeps and to laugh when he or she laughs.  It thrives on questions and curiosity.

This last point is crucial for the simple reason that relationships are dynamic.  They change over time, as do the individuals who are involved in them.  There are a couple of fundamental reasons for this.  On the one hand, people are made endlessly complex and mysterious.  On the other hand, people are finite, mortal, and imperfect! This implies that there is always room for growth and improvement in every human personality.  No matter how long you are married to your spouse, then, you will never completely grasp everything there is to know about him or her.  This is why it’s so important to stay curious.

Husbands and wives who stick together have learned to ask questions instead of passing judgment.  Rather than lashing out in anger when a spouse behaves inexplicably, they know how to say, “Tell me what you’re thinking” or “Help me understand why you reacted that way in that situation.”  These couples feel an openness to share with one another on a heart-to-heart level.  Not only are they comfortable talking about both facts and feelings, but they prioritize communication and schedule regular time to connect.  In these ways, they fan the flames of ongoing romance and keep the wonder of their first love alive

Try This! Say something nice and affirming to your spouse during these four important points of the day: 1) when you wake up 2) before leaving for work 3) when you see each other after work 4) just before sleeping.

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