Tag Archives: marriage

How to Communicate with Your Spouse

How to communicate with your spouse is a must-have for couples. Poor communication breeds mistrust. There are three principles that will improve talking with your spouse.

1) Non-verbal communication is important. Non-verbal communication is our posture, eye gazing, facial reactions, and tone of voice.   It’s how we feel towards each other – our affect.  In every interaction we are reading each other.  We have this amazing network of nerves in our body called the Vagus nerve.  It connects different parts of the organs and brain as well as facial muscles.  When we talk with each other our bodies are reading all this information at the same time.  This is where our gut instinct can tell us that something is off between what is said and what is felt.

2) Give and receive. This is not attack and defend. Good communication is when you both can give and receive from each other. Any feelings of defensiveness or knee-jerk reactions block communication. If you expect your partner to receive your feedback or opinion you need to be able to receive theirs as well. Think of the “information” piece here as something personal about your feelings – rather than “information” about how you perceive your spouse has failed in some way. Another way to give to each other is to validate each other’s feelings. This is not pacifying the other person. Validation is where you value what the other person feels. Validation is something to give and receive, not demand or take.

3) Be close. Verbal communication is great but you need to be physically close.  When you are physically present with each other you can see the reactions, feelings, and the mood in each other’s body. Being close helps you to be physically close, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and romantically. Text, email, and electronic means is limited. Marriage is important, it deserves attention and closeness.

Talking with each other is really a gift to offer. But it does take consistency and intentionality to improve it.

What is one way you can offer communication to your spouse tonight?

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Valentine’s Special Part 3 – Making a Future Together

Making a future together as a couple and as a family starts one day at a time, one routine at a time.  These don’t have to be huge performances to mean something and create memories.  The everyday routines and rituals couples have together are how they connect in small steps that lead to a lifetime of satisfaction and health.  Do your routines include each other?  Having separate routines is necessary to take care of yourself but in a couple relationship there must be routines and rituals that include each other and if there are kids, additional routines that include all members of the family.  These would be some examples: Continue Reading

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Valentine’s Day – Dating Your Spouse

Dating is essential to the life and longevity of a marriage.  When was the last time you and your spouse went out?  I know that prior to marriage most of us are crafting dates (or hoping for them) that are “Wow! experiences” designed to capture our prey (or get captured).  Dating does not go out of style in long-standing relationships although the nature of them does change.  It seems that dating is still that chemistry inside the institution of marriage where we return to the good manners of being men and women to each other and the values that brought us together in the first place.  That’s a good place to elaborate… first place.  Her, being first place. Continue Reading

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Self-Esteem in Couples

One of the best ways to build esteem in each other in a committed relationship is through acceptance.  Accepting who your partner is at their core, in their character and history.  The events that shaped them and their feelings about those events.  Acceptance is not passive but active.  Acceptance is taking the simple positives of our partner and highlighting them in kind ways both privately and publicly.  It means being constantly curious about what made them who they are and expressing that in happy ways.  Recently one of my daughters (aged 6) said, “I can’t wait for Mommy to get home, I’m going to paint with her!”  I responded, “You’re excited!  Yeah, Mommy is great at crafts, she loves it.”  My wife’s sister had shared with me some time earlier that Jill loved crafts as a little girl.  I am learning to roll with the enormous mess that comes with creativity in our house and knowing Jill’s love for this art gives me an opportunity support her as well as esteem her in front of our children.  I hope I also showed esteem in receiving what her sister shared with me and taking interest.  How we talk about our partners is extremely important to our children. Continue Reading

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