In this You Tube Video Pastor Dave Willis gives some insight into how to improve communication in your marriage. He gives several wise quick tips on communication, with one of them being that husbands and wive’s process information in different ways. From that perspective he talks about the importance of focused listening, and also saying what we mean when we say it. So, sit back and enjoy the video.
And then to add to what Dave Willis discusses on this video we have gathered a few additional tips to go along with the points he makes. We hope you find the video and the added tips to be helpful.
Additional Tips to Improve Communication:
• “It is ironic that we human beings are trained for almost every conceivable skill in life, but most of us are never really taught the dynamics of human interaction. And there’s a lot to learn. If two people have the desire to make a marriage work and are willing to combine action with that desire, a good relationship is possible. Not perfect—but good.” (Becky Freeman)
Keep in mind:
• “The tone of your words will shape the tone of your marriage. Criticism, nagging, or constantly ‘correcting’ your spouse can make both you and your spouse more vulnerable to an affair. When you look at your spouse with a critical eye, you’re more likely to have your eyes open to someone else and your spouse is more likely to be drawn in by someone who will compliment them instead of criticizing. If there’s a climate of criticism in your marriage, take immediate action to change it. Be your spouse’s biggest encourager; not their biggest critic!” (Dave Willis)
• “When you start disrespecting your spouse by belittling his/her viewpoints, you’re opening the door for infidelity. Pride is that sinister little whisper in your ear making you feel entitled to do everything your way and in your preferred timing. Pride destroys relationships more than anything else. Show mutual respect at all times. Respect and thoughtfulness aren’t just good tools for preventing adultery; they are vital to health in every part of your marriage. Just because your spouse does things differently than you doesn’t necessarily mean your way is better (or worse).” (Dave Willis)
• “Accept the fact that you’re not marrying perfection. Neither is your spouse. Your spouse will make mistakes that upset you, but this doesn’t make him or her a bad person. Understand that your spouse chose you in spite of your faults.” (Tony Rankin)
Improve Communication Through Focused Listening
• “If your spouse starts talking, take it as ‘holy moment.’ The one you love is about to reveal something. When your spouse begins to reveal his or her inner self, don’t do anything to stop the flow. Drop everything else and focus on listening. Nod sympathetically. Smile if your spouse says something funny. Let your eyes show concern if your spouse expresses pain. Ask questions to make sure you’re getting the message. Good, active listening stimulates communication.” (Gary Chapman)
• “Maintain eye contact when your spouse is talking. This keeps your mind from wandering and communicates that your spouse has your full attention. Drop all other activities when your spouse is talking. I know that it may be possible for you to watch TV and listen to your spouse at the same time, but the message your spouse is getting is that what he is saying is not very important.” (Gary Chapman)
It’s important to:
• “Turn the electronics OFF and spend more real ‘Face Time’ together. Create more time together without digital distractions, smart phones and TV’s competing for your attention. Talking with your spouse is always more beneficial than staring at a screen. Block off certain time(s) that will be ‘unplugged’ this year. It will make a huge difference. It might be the simplest goal, but it could also prove to be the most helpful.” (Dave Willis)
When your spouse talks:
• “Think about the word responsibility. …Response. Ability. You have the ability to respond with patience and kindness. The key is to be aware of your triggers and to understand the difference between a perceived attack and an actual one. Let that awareness inform your response ability.” (Gottman Institute) “Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19-20)
In your marriage relationship, make sure you don’t allow yourself to fall into the habit of lazy listening and hasty speaking. In Proverbs 1:5-7 we’re told, “Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.”
Expected Mind Reading Doesn’t Improve Communication
On the point of not expecting our spouse to read our minds concerning our needs, here’s a great insight that Sandra Aldrich shares with women that certainly applies here:
• “Women keep having this idea that if we’re truly loved, our minds will be read and every little wish we have will be anticipated. That’s too heavy a burden to put on another human being. Remember, even God wants us to express our needs and desires to Him —and he’s the only one who can truly read our minds. How is it that we’re willing to present our needs to our heavenly Father even though he already knows them? But we often refuse the same courtesy to our human spouses —who need us to tell them.
“Believe me, silence is not an effective form of power. All it does is create even more anger —first within yourself and then in your husband as he realizes you are upset but he doesn’t have a clue why. Hinting, pouting, and sighing won’t get the desired results. You have to ask clearly. …Families are often spared heartache when the husband isn’t required to read his wife’s mind.”
The same goes for husbands who expect their wives to read their minds.
When you look at how “different” we are in the ways we approach communication (and other areas of life together), here’s something to consider:
• “You ask, ‘Why did God make men and women so unbelievably different?’ I believe the main reason is so that we would have to depend on Him. God wants to be the center of every marriage, so He made the relationship so difficult that we have to keep Him there to make it work.” (David Clarke)
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