May 5, 2008

How To Have A Conversation With Your Wife

I found a great blog called The Simple Marriage Project that's got a lot of great stuff on it. One article that really stood out to me was "The Art Of Marital Conversations." This article connected with me right away because I have long since understood that having a real, productive conversation with someone is very much an art.

We cannot talk to our wives in the same ways we talked to our brothers and sisters when we were young; that accomplishes nothing, and we can't call mom when we hit an impasse. (Maybe I need to say, You had better not call mom when you hit an impasse. More on that in a later post.)

I encourage you to read his whole article, but below are his main pointers when having a conversation with your wife. (I've highlighted the parts that I really liked.)

Talk face to face. Anytime you are in a discussion with your spouse that is beyond the scheduling or surface level, do it face to face. If this is not possible, the phone will work, although this can limit the connection and increase the possibility of misunderstandings. Never try to cover deeper issues via email or text messages.

Turn off other distractions during the conversation. If you’re working on the computer, minimize the work or better yet, shut the whole thing off. If you’re watching TV, turn it off. If you are afraid of missing something in the game, get Tivo.

Don’t answer the phone. If it rings in the middle of the conversation, you have voicemail for a reason. Let it do it’s job.

Take the time to listen to her point of view. You are only one part of the relationship. Consider her side of things and ask for clarity if you don’t get what she’s saying. You don’t have to agree with everything she says to still love her. But it will help to understand her if you listen.

Forget about being right or wrong. As soon as the discussion turns to who’s right and who’s wrong, you’ve both lost. If you have an insatiable need to always be right when it comes to your spouse, riddle me this: what’s it like to be married to a loser? If you have to always be right, that makes your spouse always wrong. It’s not about right or wrong most of the time.

I can relate to all of these on some level. From personal experience, being intentional about these five things can improve your marriage exponentially in a very short time. Just wondering: which of these points really hit home for you?

5 comments:

  1. OMIGOSH!!! it's so ironic that you write this blog on this topic... this REALLY hits home for my husband and i... we had one of these discussions last night as we were going over our rules for marriage which prompted another really productive discussion... but the important thing about this was that there was no tv, computer, telephone, text messages, etc. i think that what you outlined here is soooo important in communication. thanks so much!

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  2. Great idea, as usual. Communication is the key to so many areas that it is important to get this concept down as a foundation.

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  3. Bella, I visited your site, and I think it's cool that you've started a blog like that. Tracing your marriage life from the beginning will be cool. Funny how we posted on similar things.

    Recovering Soul, I'm glad you're enjoying this site. I'm keep track of yours too. Glad to have a new friend.

    Trey, thanks so much. I want to say again that I love your new layout!

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  4. Great discussion!!! A great book for married men is "How to Love You Wife" by Dr. John Buri. It changed my life!!

    Here's the short description of the book: Some people have suggested that a successful marriage requires tremendous insight to understand and super-human effort to achieve. Others contend that happy marriages are the purview of a lucky few. In this ground-breaking book, How To Love Your Wife, it is revealed how thriving marriages can actually be achieved through sensible effort by reasonable people. But here's the catch. Since the majority of marriages in this country consist of unions in which wives are more heavily invested in marital success than are their husbands, much of this sensible effort by reasonable people needs to be consistently initiated and maintained by men. In fact, men often hold the keys to bringing about the type of loving marriage they had hoped for when they first said "I do." In How To Love Your Wife, these keys are made clear, understandable, and accessible.

    John Buri's website: http://personal.stthomas.edu/jrburi/

    The book on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Your-Wife-John-Buri/dp/1598864858/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216440988&sr=8-1

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