TheWifeFiles is all about providing a forum through which wives can address many of the common, yet uniquely complex issues that can only be acquired through the process of growing into the role of a wife. Regardless of the many reasons that guide our decision to get married, becoming a wife is a process that requires a significant amount of personal growth and internal sacrifice to develop the character needed to not only sustain the marriage, but also to sustain the commitment made to our husbands.
While the process of growing into a wife might not be the same for every wife, the process itself does not change as we all experience certain aspects of the process at one point or another, regardless of where we are in the various stages of wifely development. With that being said, there are some key principles that undergird that process—principles that I’ve dubbed “WifeCode.”
This post is dedicated to taking a closer look at the first principle, which is to recognize the importance of communication in your marriage. Why is communication so important, you ask? The answer is simple—it’s because communication is key to building and maintaining a strong foundation in your marriage. This is especially true if you want to sustain everything that a happy, successful, and fulfilled marriage is built upon.
The Biggest Problem with Communication in Marriage
It’s been said that the biggest problem with communication is that we don’t listen with the intent to understand; we listen with the intent to reply. Ladies, if we’re honest with ourselves, we should be able to hold a mirror up to ourselves, acknowledge, admit, and see that there’s some truth to that statement alive within each of us. We should also be able to see how that truth is reflected in the way we communicate with those around us—especially in how we get our point across to others.
As stereotypical as it may be, the reality is that women tend to project more emotion when communicating. That emotion, when it reaches a certain point, causes us to stop listening, which is usually the main culprit when the communication process breaks down.Reaching the point of breakdown in communication is detrimental because this is where we become closed to seeing or understanding any point-of-view other than our own.
Logic and reason give way to emotion, and we end up yelling and screaming and crying and name-calling and belittling and so-on and so-forth. This is where we lose our power because we get so caught-up in having the last word that we miss the learning opportunities that empower us to resolve conflicts as they arise when we’re engaged in the communication process. This is a particularly dangerous place for us to find ourselves in because when we lose our power, we lose our ability to leverage that power to help learn how NOT to repeat the mistakes that sparked the breakdown in communication with our husbands in the first-place.
Ladies, if we are to truly leverage our power as wives, then we need to take a long, hard look at how we communicate with and relate to our husbands. Then, and only then, will we be able to own our part of what makes communication a stumbling block in marriage…and in life for that matter. After we do that, we need to do whatever needs to be done to fix it because our marriages depend on us doing so.
If you ALWAYS feel as if your husband doesn’t understands you…or if your husband is always against you…or as if no one—ESPECIALLY your husband—ever listens to you or knows where you’re coming from…or is always nit-picking, nagging, or getting-on-your-nerves…yada…yada…yada, then you need to look in the mirror and understand that the way you’re communicating (i.e. sending and receiving verbal and non-verbal messages to those around you) is serving to either strengthen or strangle your marriage…for better or for worse.
This is the reason why communication is so important in relationships—ESPECIALLY in marriage. If you don’t have a healthy pattern of communication in your marriage, then your marriage will fail on so many different levels. Ladies, this is why we must recognize the importance of maintaining and nurturing healthy patterns of communication, not only in marriage, but in life, and we must make a greater effort to lead by positive example in that regard. Here’s how…
Keep these three tidbits in mind whenever you think about what communication looks like in your marriage. If internalized and implemented correctly, these three strategies can help you to get your needs met whenever you communicate by shifting the focus of the exchange from “you” to “understanding” the purpose for the exchange in the first place. Doing so will help you to keep your emotions in-check, and can help you resolve any conflict that could potentially arise BEFORE things get out-of-hand…
Say It Like You Mean It: Oftentimes, we end-up feeling frustrated and defeated in communication because we miss those key opportunities to say “what we mean and mean what we say.” We either don’t want to say something that will hurt our husband’s feelings, or we don’t want to say the wrong thing. So, what do we do? We “sugar-coat” what needs to be said so that we can spare his feelings because, after all, we don’t come across as being the ultimate bitch.
Listen, I’m not talking about engaging in any type verbal abuse or anything extreme like that. Ladies, we have to stop tip-toeing around what you want to say and say what you have to say like you mean—with tact, diplomacy, and the utmost respect, of course.
Disagree WITHOUT Being Disagreeable: FACT—You and your husband won’t see always see things eye-to-eye, and this fact will almost always show up when you’re communicating, trying to get your point across to each other. However, this fact does NOT give you the right to lash-out in a passive-aggressive, demeaning, or combative way to manipulate the situation so that your husband sees things from your perspective.
It’s important to remember that your husband is not wrong just because he doesn’t agree with you…and vice-versa. You can disagree without adding unnecessary stress to your marriage, which often sneaks in through the unkind words spoken out of anger in the heat-of-the-moment. That’s what we do when we “agree to disagree.” It also helps to stop being so negative because negativity feeds a disagreeable spirit, and that’s just not cute.
Express Your Expectations Clearly: Miscommunication happens because we do not clearly state what we want or expect to happen. Recognizing that the world would likely be a much better place if everyone had the magical power of “mindreading,” the reality is that human beings were not created that way. Therefore, you cannot expect your husband to know what you’re thinking, feeling, believing, intending, etc., etc. IF you do not clearly express yourself and your expectations.
You cannot get upset when you find yourself in situations or conversations that take a turn for the worse because you thought you were on the same wavelength with your husband when, in reality, you were not. This will happen whenever you do not clearly express your thoughts, ideas, talking-points, expectations, etc. etc. up-front. Doing so will, at least, level the communicative playing field.
And that’s it! Stay tuned for the Second Principle of the WifeCode, which will focus on the importance of learning how to fight fair. In the meantime, keep the conversation going. Join TheWifeFiles e-mail list today to receive each principle directly in your inbox as soon as it’s released! Thank you in advance for subscribing and for following. Can’t wait to share this with you, Ladies!
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