Communication is key in any relationship, and when it comes to marriage, it's essential. Have you ever found yourself feeling like your spouse just doesn't listen to you? Heck, do you wonder if they even hear you? Well, if you do, you're not alone. This is a common complaint amongst couples. So, in this blog, we will provide you with three simple tips on how to navigate communication so you feel heard.
Table of Contents
- Timing is everything
- Manage your own emotions
- Remember that we forget
Timing is Everything
Tip number one, timing is everything. So we live in a day and age with our lives full to the brim. We have a lot on our schedules, a lot going on in our family, and a lot on our minds. Oftentimes, we just throw things out that we're thinking, and we expect our spouse to catch it, and they don't, and we feel unheard and frustrated.
Let's try this instead when you have something that comes to mind that you need to talk about. Just simply say, “Hey honey, I have something I need to talk to you about. Is now a good time?” This lets your spouse know two things. One is whatever you wanna say is important to you, and you need to be heard. But number two is that you also respect your spouse enough to understand that just because it's a good time for you doesn't mean it's a good time for them.
And if it's not a good time for them, no problem! You can just ask about another time. “How about after dinner then or tomorrow before work?” I know sometimes it feels like there is zero time available, but the two of you can find a moment when you can speak and be heard.
Manage Your Own Emotions
Tip number two, manage your own emotions. So again, our lives are busy, our lives are full. We have a lot going on. And when we're in a family and in a marriage, emotions can run high, and we can find things to feel frustrated about easily. But when you communicate frustration, it has a tendency to backfire. So instead of saying, “I get so angry when you don't come home from work on time,” maybe try something as simple as reminding them and making a request, trying to be objective.
For example, “Hey honey, you know how sometimes you're home late from work? Do you think you could text me and let me know that you're running late and when you'll be home when that happens?” It's very simple, and you can achieve the same thing without the frustration. And on a little side note, when we go into frustration, we are actually operating out of the amygdala instead of the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is where your brain intelligently handles the regulation of behavior, thoughts, and emotions.
So when we create this kind of frustrating atmosphere, neither one of you is really walking away from the conversation with the facts that you need to be able to make your marriage succeed, including being heard.
Remember That We Forget
Tip number three is to remember that we forget. Forgetting is really a thing! All of us have factors in life that we forget. A lot of times, we make meaning out of our spouse forgetting something. It must mean that the request was not important to them, or worst yet, that you're not important to them. But what it's really telling you is that your spouse is simply a different person than you are.
They have their own personality. They're wired with their thinking, and that thinking is a blessing to your family in different ways than you are. Their uniqueness helps you navigate this world together in a more powerful, dynamic way. So, if your spouse tends to forget, don't take it personally. Instead, offer the grace of reminders.
Say, “Hey, do you remember I told you this? Do you want me to remind you next time?” And if they don't want to be reminded, if they interpret that as nagging or something else, fine, then they can take responsibility for remembering. But if they want a reminder, be okay with it and give them this gracious reminder of whatever the task, item, or event is.
If it’s a repeated task, you won't have to do it forever. Eventually, they'll remember whatever it is that you agreed upon themselves. But if you’re letting your frustration loose, they are less likely to remember anything other than your anger. In the meantime, you're heard, your relationship gets closer, and you have a better understanding.
So, remember number one, timing is everything. Number two, manage and own your emotions. And number three, don't forget that we really do forget.
In conclusion, communication is an essential part of any successful marriage, and feeling heard is crucial. By using these three simple tips – timing, managing your emotions, and remembering that we forget – you can improve your communication with your spouse and feel more heard. Remember that communication is a two-way street, and it takes effort from both parties to make it work.
- What should I do if my spouse doesn't want to talk about something that's important to me?
- If your spouse doesn't want to talk about something that's important to you, don't give up hope. There are things you can do to address the issue. Firstly, try giving them some space if they need time to think before discussing the topic. Set a time to talk in the future so they know you still want to address the issue. If they refuse to discuss it at all, consider seeking professional support to work through communication barriers.
- How can I avoid getting frustrated when my spouse doesn't seem to understand me?
- Feeling like your spouse doesn't understand you can be frustrating, but don't let it get the best of you. Remember, frustration can lead to poor thinking and processing, and ultimately, poor communication. Instead, take a deep breath to calm your nervous system and identify the emotion driving the frustration. Try to explain your point of view calmly and objectively. If that's not possible, take a break and return to the conversation later when you've had time to collect your thoughts and approach the conversation more productively.
- What if I forget something important that my spouse told me?
- Forgetting something important that your spouse told you can be embarrassing, but it happens to the best of us. The best way to handle it is to apologize and ask how your partner felt when you forgot. It's okay to forget sometimes, and offering a gracious reminder can help improve communication and show that you're invested in the relationship.
- How can I make sure my spouse feels heard when they're talking to me?
- To ensure your spouse feels heard when they're talking to you, practice active listening. This means giving them your full attention, asking questions, and summarizing what they're saying to demonstrate your understanding. By actively listening, you show that you value their thoughts and feelings, and that you're willing to work through any communication barriers together. Remember, communication is key in any successful relationship.