A Good Communicator is a Good Listener
By Angie Lewis
Communicating properly with our spouse is an
absolute must in marriage. Identifying whatís proper communication and
whatís not takes good listening skills, compassion and understanding.
Communication breakdown begins for two obvious reasons. When we donít
clarify or make known, exactly what we mean to say, and when we scream,
yell, accuse, and blame. So what can we do?
Has your spouse ever asked you to do something important but you misunderstood the exact meaning of what they truly needed done and you did it totally different? How about this one? Has your spouse ever talked to you about their feelings, but you werenít really listening and so you didnít understand them and what they meant?
Ambiguous conversation between couples leaves much
to be desired. It can truly lead couples from knowing about each other
when they donít take the time to understand proper communication
methods. We are not born to be good communicators. It takes considerable
amount of perseverance and focus to understand what people really mean
when they talk, even those we love and live with. Here
are a few techniques you can try next time you are having an intimate
moment with your spouse.
Try not to be vague and ambiguous about what you
really want and need. Have your spouse explain back to you what they
interpreted from what you said. Donít be afraid to be yourself and
share your feelings with your loved ones. If you have a spouse who
discredits your thoughts and feelings, maybe you can teach them by
showing your own understanding of their feelings? Be a good example.
We are commanded to treat others in the same manner
we want to be treated. If we can remember this is
what God desires of us, we can be more considerate and kind to our
spouse. It is VERY rude to shun or make fun of the feelings and thoughts
of those whose opinions are different than ours. Instead of doing this,
first try to be more understanding of their feelings, and then explain
in a nice way, why you disagree.
Another reason behind faulty communication is how
we converse during arguments, and even during everyday talk with our
spouse. Arguments donít have to end in a bad way. And what about the
screaming and yelling matches? It doesnít matter who is right, what
matters is respecting each other even through the negative feelings. We
should be trying to understand where the other person is coming from by
putting ourselves in their shoes.
Each time a conversation or argument doesnít get
resolved more resentment and animosity will build up. This is how
couples become alienated from each other. Couples will eventually stop
sharing and giving of themselves with each other. But this is not what
God wants for marriage. We are commanded to love others, to forgive, and
to have faith in God to ask Him for what we need. Our daily bread does
not come from the person we married but from God. Once we have our dose
of daily bread, we can be loving and considerate communicators.
We should never expect too much from our spouse,
especially during disagreements. What we can do though, is let them know
that we donít always have to be right. We do this through our actions
of giving in during a heated argument. We can then explain to them what
we need and want in a manner that will make it easier for them to
understand us. Take turns, without interrupting one another about the
way each feels on the issue being discussed. End the argument in a good
way by resolving both sides of the issue. Anyone can be a good
communicator by first being a good listener.
For Christ himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility. (Ephesians 2:14 NIV)
1. How can you communicate better with your spouse?
2. Name four ways that couples cause communication breakdown.
3. Do you think that lack of intimacy could be blamed on the lack of communication or improper communication? Why Explain. How could you rectify that?
4. If you want to get to know the person you married all over again, how would you express yourself during intimate conversations?
5. Is there such a thing as RESPECT when arguing with your spouse?
Yes there is. Explain this in detail answering why it is good to respect one another during arguments and how to do it.
6. Next time you argue with your spouse, doesn't matter what the argument is about, show some respect and you will get respect back. (sometimes arguments are good in marriage, but only when they are productive arguments)
Talk with your spouse about having more productive argument next time you have an arguement. It will surely put a smile on their face.