My wife nags. My husband doesn’t listen. According to my wife, I don’t do anything right. My husband is so lazy.
These are just a few of the typical one-liners you hear related to a typical married couple. But, the funny thing is those one-liners aren’t being said to the person who needs to hear it. Listen, I know everyone needs their friend to vent to but sometimes, there should be more open communication with your spouse instead. Not to mention, the more you let the same thing bother you, the more likely you will blow up over it.
Now that my husband and I are approaching seven years of marriage, we have figured out (for the most part) what works best in our relationship and what doesn’t. The one thing we have always fallen back on is communication. We have found that being open with each other has prevented huge arguments.
Say what’s on your mind…
Sort of. We have found in the heat of the moment, we tend to be a bit more brutal with each other. This only leads to hurt feelings and the necessary apologies later.
Instead, we give it a minute or an hour and discuss it later. If I’ve corrected him on a discipline issue with the kids, in front of the kids, we discuss how I could have handled that better later. If he hasn’t helped out with the dinner clean-up or wrangle the kids, we discuss how we can balance this tasks better after the kids have gone to bed.
The biggest benefit we have noticed from following this is simply actually allowing ourselves to hear the other person. It isn’t just getting the annoyance off your chest but actually being heard and making progress.
Be on the same page…
Finances, health, discipline… we have always tried to be on the same page. Obviously, there are going to be times that we don’t always agree. But, for the most part, we try to at least be in the same ballpark.
We like to have nice things but we try to balance each other out by keeping our long-term saving goals in mind. We each may have slightly different goals related to health but we try our best not to sabotage the other’s plan.
When it came to disciplining our children, that has been the biggest challenge. We overall had very similar expectations. But, we never expected the little everyday things we would handle differently. This has opened a new door for discussion and been a learning opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t.
The only way we can stay even remotely near the same page is to keep our communication open.
Take time with each other…
Some of our most efficient times for communication are when we go on a date. I know, I know, the idea of going on a date is to get a break from everyday life and do something fun. In reality, that gives us uninterrupted time to really talk and touch base with our younger selves.
We talk about where we have been, where we are now, and where we plan to direct our future plans. I am the first to admit, we could probably use these date nights more regularly. It’s hard when you feel that parent guilt. We are away all week at work just to separate ourselves from our kids again to go out for the night. But, what we accomplish in being fully open and honest with each other only improves our relationship, making it that much stronger.
Do you have any tips on preventing blow ups through communication? Share them!!