Marriage is hard. The relationship with your husband is something you have to work on every single day for the rest of your life. And it all starts with being able to effectively communicate with your husband. To have easy, open, and honest communication in your marriage, start with these 3 simple tips.
Today’s post is written by Jamie Ruffin. She blogs at Living Life As A Wife. She’s married to a wonderful man and they have 2 beautiful children together. But she has always been someone with BIG dreams. So she’s here to empower moms to achieve their personal goals, have a strong marriage, and raise incredible kids all at the same time. “Because there is no reason why you can’t have everything you have ever wanted”, says Jamie.
Tips To Effectively Communicate With Your Husband
You can try to talk to your husband all day long. But if you ignore these 3 items, you are not going to get anywhere. It may take some time to really see benefits and build these habits, but your marriage will thrive if you do the work.
Take a second and think back to the last conversation you had with your husband. Not about taking out the trash or something simple, but something that one of you felt strongly about. Maybe it even ended in an argument or heated discussion. Now ask yourself these questions:
- Where were you?
- What was it about?
- Who else was there?
- How long did it last?
- What interrupted you?
Now think about how you were feeling during and after the conversation.
Maybe you can’t answer all of those questions because you don’t remember. Or perhaps you were not happy with the outcome. If you have either of those issues try to remember WHY you feel that way or can’t recall the details. And I can probably guess the answer.
You were distracted.
By your phone. The kids. Your pet. Cooking dinner. Watching TV. WHATEVER it was at the time. You missed the conversation because you were distracted.
If you only remember one thing from this today please let it be this,
STOP missing out on important time with your husband. Your kids, your phone, your pet, your favorite TV show.. none of it is more important than a conversation with your husband.
Think about how you would (or do if it is an issue) feel if you were talking to your husband and he was watching the TV over your shoulder. So when you paused for him to respond he didn’t even notice. Or if he was surfing Facebook on his phone instead of listening to you. Let me tell you how you would feel.DISRESPECTED. Unloved. Ignored. Like you don’t matter.
You love your husband and he loves you. After all, you are married for a reason and those babies came from somewhere!
But you need to set aside anything that distracts you and be present in your conversations if you are ever going to effectively communicate with your husband.
And here’s the kicker, HE HAS TO TOO.
Make a promise to each other that once a week (or daily if you can!) you are going to sit down together. Somewhere with no TV on. After the kids are in bed or when they are not home. With your phones on silent and face down. And just TALK to each other.
About anything! It can be something serious like a major life decision. Or it can be a quick summary of why your day at work was the best day ever. Whatever you want each other to know can be said and you will know the other is listening. Do this for at least 15-20 minutes every time you schedule it. And soon, it will be a routine that you both look forward to.
Speak His (Love) Language
We all love in different ways and require different things to really FEEL loved.
That is where The 5 Love Languages come in. Your primary love language in the way that you communicate love. It is how you most naturally give and receive it. Most of us will also have a strong secondary language that we often use and also need. If you want to effectively communicate with your husband, it is critical that you both learn each other’s (and your own for that matter) love languages.
The 5 Love Languages
- Words of Affirmation
This is the need to be recognized verbally for your achievements, hard work, and struggles.
There are several types of words of affirmation and some may matter more than others to each individual. So you will need to gauge your husband’s reaction to each to know which is best. These types are,
Mantra: Words are important.
- Quality Time
This is spending time doing something you enjoy with your spouse and having a quality conversation, not specifically at the same time.
Mantra: Give your undivided attention.
- Receiving Gifts
This is getting a visual representation of your spouse’s love.
It can be something simple like flowers on Friday, or something extravagant. It can also cost nothing if it is simply you participating in something that matters to your spouse, like skipping lunch to make it to your son’s soccer game.
Mantra: A gift doesn’t have to cost money.
- Acts of Service
This is wanting your spouse to help make your life easier without being asked or requiring thanks. (Thanks are always appreciated though!)
Tip If this is your love language, telling your spouse what would mean the most to you is a good way to help give direction. If this is your spouse’s love language, ask them for a short list of tasks that they would appreciate your help with and complete them as close to the way they do as possible.
Mantra: How will you show your love today?
- Physical Touch
This is the desire to be physically close to your spouse in a non-sexual way.
It is about sitting together, small, inconsequential touches throughout the day. Holding hands entering the grocery store, or a kiss on the cheek before leaving for work.
Tip This person can hear all the words in the world, but if you don’t also SHOW them, they will never believe your love.
Mantra: Physical contact is more powerful than words.
Making sure you know your husband’s love language and that he knows yours will change the way you communicate for the better. You will both be happier and feel more loved than you ever have before. Love languages are mostly about building small habits into your relationship. It doesn’t usually have to be any major changes.
To learn about your love languages more, visit How To Use The 5 Love Languages To Improve Your Marriage and get a FREE printable worksheet to identify your love languages.
Putting in the time and effort in this step will pay off quickly. As soon as you begin to make the changes about how you give your husband love, he will notice and be happier and feel more loved which makes for a better marriage.
Have a Weekly Marriage Check-In
This can be an informal “touch base” type of situation. When I say “weekly marriage check-in” some people probably think that it is way too serious. But it can be whatever works for you and your husband. And if weekly is too much, do it once a month!
But I will explain why I think it works the best weekly.
The main point of this is to talk to each other and make sure that you are on the same page about what is going on in your life. If your kids are old enough, you can even include them for part of it. Follow the easy steps each time and it will become a very easy routine.
- Express gratitude
I like to start with this because it gives a positive note to the air. So take just a moment and be genuinely thankful for something that happened this week.
- Express your needs
This is a time where you can discuss anything that you are needing to be adjusted or worked on in your relationship. You want this to be a positive and constructive conversation. To keep it that way I recommend the FLAP method, which I discuss in How To Improve Communication In Your Marriage with a Weekly Check-In. There is also a printable check-in worksheet available there.
- Discuss any difficulties you have experienced
This can be anything you are dealing with. It is a time to just blurt it out and get it on the table. It can be work-related, not feeling great, one of the kids being a menace (best discussed only if the children are NOT present), anything you want. And you can just vent, or ask for help with solutions. But it is helpful if you communicate which you are doing so there is no confusion.
- Next week’s plan
This is the main thing that differs on our meeting day to the rest of the week. My husband and I talk about just about everything each day so most of this is not exclusive to our weekly meeting. But this step is.
This is the time to go over what your schedules look like and do your meal planning. That way if he is going to be late one day or the kids have an appointment, you are both on the same page. Because I don’t know about you, but I don’t like cooking dinner for 4 on a day when my husband is not coming home.
- Hugs and kisses
You always want to end on a positive note and conclude the meeting. So give a quick kiss or hug and move on with your day.
Now, it’s your turn…
As I said before, marriage is hard. It takes a lot of work. But, in the end, it really is worth it. Thes 3 simple tips can change the way your marriage goes. Take the time to use each of the things I talked about today and you WILL be able to more easily effectively communicate with your husband on a daily basis.