Mar 18, 2016

Marriage Q & A: Communicating with your guy


Today, I am sharing two questions asked by a bride-to-be about communicating in kindness and respect during hard conversations. I love the responses from the three gals that tackled these two questions. Their responses vary a bit, which great because it adds variety and helps each reader prayerfully decide what is best for their relationship. 

How do you share your honest thoughts about insecurities you feel towards your guy without hurting his feelings?


"My husband and I are completely honest with each other.  I call it "authentic communication" meaning I don't beat around the bush when something bothers me.  I say whatever I feel but I do it with kindness and humility, knowing my husband is not perfect and I can't expect him to know everything about me.  He has to learn how to love me and it's my job to show him how (again, with kindness).  If, for instance, I want him to bring me flowers more often, I'll tell him.  He can't read my mind so if I don't voice it, he will never do it.  When we first got married, we decided that every evening we would have time just for each other.  We would light a candle, sit or lay next to each other (no technology allowed!), and just talk.  This time allowed us to really get to know each other intimately and has strengthened our marriage more than anything else."
Kimberly Bradley, married 7 years. Blogs at The Narrow Lens (www.thenarrowlens.com)
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"I don’t know… I hope I’ve never hurt his feelings by expressing my insecurities.  But I’m able to recognize that any insecurities I have about him are really about me.  Why would someone so great stay with someone so… me? Are you sure I’m enough? But he also has never given me any reasons to be insecure about his commitment… no actions or words that could cause an insecure wife to suspect any sort of misbehavior or restlessness."
- Katie Hodge, married 6.5 years; Blog: www.alwayskatie.com


"Okay, so, here’s where I’m going to challenge you. You have questions about him, right? Questions about, say, how he’s going to provide for you, or how he’s going to parent, or how he’s going to grow up and get his socks into the hamper for the love of Pete.
You don’t need to share those thoughts. Like it says in the book Love and Respect, you are not your husband’s Holy Spirit. You wouldn’t like it if he expressed questions about how good you’ll mother his children- it would possibly even hurt you deeply. Your expression of insecurity about him will make him feel that you disrespect him as a man, that you are concerned about who he is as a person. Just don’t say it. Start by praying for him. Pray hard. And pray that you would know what good and helpful to communicate to him. Are socks on the floor really that important? Maybe not. Let go of the small stuff. 

And then, if there are things that really need to be said, bring them up in a spirit of respect. Start by asking yourself- “is this going to come across as disrespectful?” If yes, then wait until you have a good handle on using a respectful tone, respectful words, and a respectful facial expression.

Start by saying something like, “I really admire how hard you work- you’re so passionate about starting your own business, and you’re really brave to take such a risk. Sometimes, I feel concerned about how we’re going to get the bills paid, though… can we talk about that?” He’ll react much better if you show respect first and foremost."

- Ally Vermeer  blogs at  The Speckled Goat Blog (www.thespeckledgoatblog.com); married 4 years



We communicate differently. I need time to process and my fianc√© needs on-going conversation to know he’s being heard. Any advice on how to be patient and learn how the other needs to be heard and loved, especially when the couple communicates differently?

"Marriage is about compromise.  It's not about "me" anymore.  It's my responsibility to love my husband the way he receives it best, which means I have to learn how to do that effectively.  I suggest having an agreement that meets both needs individually.  If you need more time to process, but he needs to talk, you have to find a happy medium.  You have to talk sooner and he has to be patient a little longer. So instead of talking right away, he agrees to wait 24 hours even though you would rather have 2-3 days.  Compromise.  Happy medium.  Find them and you both will learn to be comfortable in any situation."
Kimberly Bradley, married 7 years. Blogs at The Narrow Lens (www.thenarrowlens.com)


"In this specific case, I recommend journaling.  Have him write out his thoughts so that he gets the satisfaction of expressing them and working through them (a lot of times that’s what the need to talk it out is about – solidifying and understanding your own position).  Promise to read and respond by a certain point when you’ve had time to process.  Also!  Love languages!!  Learn yours, learn your spouse’s, learn to use them in ways that are comfortable for you!  If you’re continuously showing love in these ways, you’ll both feel at ease and secure, and it’ll be easier to be patient while working through things."
- Katie Hodge, married 6.5 years; Blog: www.alwayskatie.com


"My husband and I are the opposite way. I need to talk through things, and he needs to process. It used to drive me crazy, especially because I didn’t understand why he just wouldn’t respond.  Finally, he told me, “Yeah, I’m listening, and I care about what you’re saying. I just need time to think about it.” 
It still drives me crazy… but I get it, now. 

As the “processer” in the relationship, try to set a time that you’re going to talk about it again. That helps me—knowing that we’re going to talk about the issue again helps me to accept the time he needs to think it through."
- Ally Vermeer of The Speckled Goat Blog (www.thespeckledgoatblog.com); married 4 years

Want to catch up with previous engagement/wedding/marriage posts? Click HERE! And HERE are the posts on singleness (more to come)!
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Further Reading:
I Argue Because I Love You by For The Love Of Tuna


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Elle Alice