I smile as I remember the sweet stories my parents have told me about their dating years. My dad was in the merchant marine academy and he would frequently go out to sea, so they rarely got to see each other. Thousands of miles apart, they sent handwritten letters to each other on a weekly basis.
Just a generation later, we have hundreds of ways to communicate. Call/text. Facebook. Facetime. The list could go on and on…
As technology increases, you would think communication would become easier. But it’s really not. If anything, I believe that effective communication in marriage is becoming MORE difficult.
Notice I said effective communication in marriage. I believe there’s a big difference between talking and communicating. And I’ve learned that effective communication in marriage is essential.
Have you ever reached for your phone to check for new text messages as soon as you got in the car with your husband? I have. Have you ever responded “mmhmm, yeah…” as your husband tried to tell you about his day? I have.
When I step back and really think about that, it hurts. If my husband is truly the most important person in the world to me (which he is), why would I not make more time to talk with him than to check Instagram? Am I that selfish that I can’t just for five minutes set aside my phone, look directly at him, and actually listen to what he’s saying?
So from now on, I’m making an intentional decision to put away my phone and do my part in building communication in marriage (Hudson already does a great job). I wrote the following little plan for myself, and would love if you joined me too!
3 Ways to Build Better Communication in Marriage
1. Pick one night a week to have a no-technology evening. Turn your phone and computer off, and let your spouse know you are making time for them. Don’t expect them to do the same; just show that you are there.
2. If your spouse is talking to you about something, set aside any distractions. Look at them, listen, and say something relevant in response.
3. Ask your spouse how you can be a better listener and communicator. By humbly approaching them and asking how you’re doing in this area, you’ll show that you care about them enough to make a change. Be prepared to respond with grace instead of arguing back if they tell you something that you can work on.
Above all, I believe that the key to effective communication in marriage is prayer. The truth is, much more important than a three-step plan for better communication in marriage is to take time to communicate with the Creator of marriage. Ask God to guide you as you build better communication in marriage. And pray for me, too!