Communication between spouses

Mel Gibson starred in a fanciful comedy entitled What Women Want, where his character gets struck by lightening in his bathroom and wakes up with the unique ability to hear the thoughts of women.  Everywhere he went he heard the internal dialogue of women and knew what they were thinking, feeling, and desiring even when it was not verbalized. This amazing talent is surely coveted by men and women alike. However, as it is not accessible in the real world. Therefore we have to learn to communicate more clearly.     

One of the most important ingredients of a good marriage is the ability to communicate well. This requires the couple working together as a team to ensure that communication happens and happens accurately. 

Very often one spouse will converse with the other without really communicating anything at all.  This happens because the listener fails to listen, or because the communicator fails to say exactly what is meant.  Many have heard it said that men and women come from different planets because it often feels like two different languages are spoken. If the listener is not a skilled interpreter communication is severely hindered. 

Women often want men to know what we want without our being obvious about it. It is our romantic ideal to know that they connect with us so well that our needs our met without straightforwardly divulging them.  However, this serves only to frustrate men.  They often really want to do what it is that would make us happy, but do not have a talent in mind reading. This creates tension and they feel inept at being a good husband because the wife will not simply spell out with great clarity what she wants.  

Marriages need open lines of communication where husband and wife fully and openly share what they are thinking and feeling including being honest about frustrations.  Men need to know they can be honest that they cannot read minds and need a clear idea of what it is the wife wants.   

Each spouse needs to take interest in what the other is talking about and find ways to communicate about that interest without deafly listening in boredom.  Remember the days when you were first getting to know your spouse. Recall how every detail was fascinating.  Go on dates regularly and share like it was the first or second or third date. 

Schedule time every day to sit and talk. Perhaps this time would be best found over dinner. Perhaps while cooking or cleaning up after dinner. If this is too difficult find time before bed, but before either are too tired to talk and have a good chat.  Be inquisitive. Draw out the other. Find out how their day went and what they enjoyed or didn’t enjoy about it. 

Good communication must be cultivated. It does not usually happen naturally. It takes work, patience, love, and forgiveness. Communication problems are not ever one sided. It takes two working together. To keep communication lines open, blame needs not to be in the equation. Most importantly, a couple can start fresh today. Forget the past, and start like today is a new day and learn to communicate anew. It is imperative for a good relationship, and a good marriage hold inestimable value. Work at it with perseverance that never gives up.