“Just walk away”, “Just forget about it”, “Give it some time and it will get better”.
These are all tempting thoughts that come to mind when we have been hurt by someone we love.
I decided at the beginning of my marriage that I would talk even when it hurts. This behavior was illustrated by watching my parents each night sit down after dinner in the living room and just talk.
I don’t know what they talked about, I just remember them sitting down with a cup of coffee and talking.
In the early years of my marriage communication was a learning process. Each one of us speaks a different language. It was challenging for me to find the language that my husband Brian spoke.
We speak two very different languages. I am a very direct person. I tell you how it is and do not dance around the subject at all.
Brian on the other hand, he takes his time to build up to what he is trying to say.
When I would use my language to speak to Brian he would get hurt. He would feel as though I was cutting him with a knife.
On the other hand, when Brian used his language to speak to me, he took a loooooooong time to get to the point. In my mind I am saying, “Come on, get on with it. What do you want to tell me.” And I end up missing a lot of what he is saying.
I have learned that when I feel hurt by something Brian said or did that I must not allow it to fester, or stew. I must find the time to address the issue as soon as possible. If I do not, then it becomes an undealt with issue that will rear its ugly head sooner or later.
There is nothing off limits to talk about in our marriage. Open communication is key. Sensitive issues such as finances, sex, workplace stress and family all need to be addressed with the highest importance.
In order to be able to communicate, we both need to be a safe place for each other. Brian needs to feel safe to tell me his fears, his dreams, his ambitions, the things that frustrate him and upset him. I need to be safe, non-judgmental, not easily angered, and not put off; and it goes both ways.
I think that when I am that safe place then I show love to Brian as Jesus shows his love to me.
As a matter of fact, this love is illustrated in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Healthy communication in marriage is always a work in progress. It is something that must constantly be fine-tuned and evaluated.
What are some listening and speaking skills you have learned in your marriage?
Please share in the comments below.