You love them, it’s just sometimes you don’t understand them! The fact is, you and your spouse are two different, deeply emotional people. Each of you bring in your own experiences, feelings and opinions. It’s no wonder you miscommunicate sometimes. No matter how good you think your communication skills are or how much you feel they need to learn, there is room for improvement on both sides and it can be learned.
After all, talking is not the same as communicating. Surface topics and safe zones don’t really show you what is going on inside your partner’s head. Once you open yourself up to bigger and more challenging marriage communication, you’ll discover more about your partner and experience deeper intimacy than ever before.
Stop Thinking and Start Listening
How many times have you been listening to someone, only thinking about the story you want to tell next? You’re not actually hearing what that person is saying, you’re just waiting until you get a chance to talk. That isn’t communicating and it certainly isn’t fulfilling. In order to have a fulfilling conversation you must first genuinely listen which means you must be in the moment. It is a rare thing to be “in the moment” these days. In our world of over stimulation and multitasking, it’s hard to stop what you’re doing and devote your entire self to focusing on one thing.
If you want to have a genuine discussion with your partner, you’re going to have to put down your cell phone, let go of your own personal feelings and listen to exactly what they have to say. If you want to be heard, you must first give them the opportunity to have you listen. Hear them objectively and then when it comes time to make your own point, you can make educated statements based on their contribution to the conversation. Now you both have a chance to hear exactly what the other is saying without getting mixed up in your own thoughts and feelings.
When you’re in a relationship, you are suddenly so much more exposed than ever before. This person has the opportunity to see you at your very best and at your very worst. When you aren’t even sure if you like yourself all that much, how can you accept someone else’s admiration? As scary as it might be, you have to be your true, honest self. If you begin to hide your true self from your partner, you will really have begun to hide everything you have to offer.
You cheat yourself out of intimacy and put yourself in a position or constant manipulation and secrets. This person is capable of comforting you when your down and building you up. Now more than ever it is important to admit when you are feeling vulnerable and see what they have to offer. Be honest about your feelings, your struggles, your dreams and desires. The more up front you are the better chance you have of experiencing real communication.
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