Motion, not Motivation, in Communicating With Your Spouse

Having trouble communicating with your spouse? You may have a motion, not motivation, problem. Think about it. How often have you said to yourself, “I’m going to exercise more” or “I’m going to start eating better” or “I’m going to read more/work less/do that thing I always say I’m going to do”? Now, how many times have you actually done it? You know you should do it, and you’re motivated to do it, but somehow you just don’t get around to it.

Motivation is a beautiful thing — I’m motivated to do a lot of things, too. What I, unfortunately, seem to be lacking, however, is motion, the drive to actually get started. And as I’ve traveled on my path to “a better me for a better we,” I find this to be the same problem when communicating with my wife, Monica. The funny thing is, I know it’s because my own ego gets in the way. I know there is a topic or issue in our family that needs to be addressed but because of the emotional feelings I have, the motivation to solve the problem gets stunted by the lack of motion.

Driving Motion in Communicating With Your Spouse

In our professional careers and within our own organizations, we know that when a problem arises we need to get together, identify the issue, discuss the potential solutions, and, ultimately, take action to resolve them. In these instances motion is simple. So why do we struggle to do that in our personal lives? Perhaps it’s emotion, ego, and/or the “it’s not my fault” attitude. When you take a step back, doesn’t that sound ridiculous? Shouldn’t you be communicating with your spouse to address and resolve the issue just like you would with your team at work? Isn’t that the example we want to show our children?

So whatever struggles your family may be having, start by communicating with your spouse. Focus on motion, not motivation, start the conversation, and keep the conversation going until you find the resolution. The faster we get to talking about things, the faster we get to resolving them and helping our families align in purpose.


For more helpful information and guidance on communicating with your spouse, check out our bookpocket guideblog, and downloadable parenting resources.

Author: Dale W. Vernon
Dale, a business and investment advisor and professed imperfect father of three children, is co-author of How Imperfect Parents Lead Great Families. He is a frequent speaker about the importance of establishing family values, creating a culture of communication in your home and being an intentional parent that understands the importance of being the best example you can for your children.
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