- December 5, 2016
- Posted by: Dale W. Vernon
- Category: Communication, Listening, Self-evaluation
Last week, I wrote about achieving work-life balance and that it’s more of an up and down seesaw than actual balance. A critical component of work-life balance is that you and your spouse develop an understanding that “this is life,” and at times, work has to be a priority and when it’s not, you will commit to making the family a priority. In order to do this, marriage communication skills are vital.
Since the work-life teeter-totter frequently leads to a similar seesaw in your relationship with your spouse, a culture of communication and marriage communication skills are critical. You have to be able to share and understand what your significant other has going on in his or her life and what you can do be helpful and not just another issue for the person to manage.
Enhancing Your Marriage Communication Skills
We all know people who are always focused on “me, me, me” almost 100% of the time. Those individuals don’t stop long enough to realize the importance of what others have going on. In our marriages, there are times when we are frustrated and don’t feel like our spouse is “doing their part” or “spending enough time” with the family. During those times, we can stew or hold a grudge, or we can seek to understand our spouse’s needs and do what we can to help. Yep, when the seesaw has pushed you into the air, you may need to be the giver in the relationship. When your spouse is down due to work, your generosity of spirit and understanding can lift him or her back up.
Of course, if you are always the giver, then you’re not in a relationship that is working well. But if you create a culture of communication in your home and hone your marriage communication skills, then there will be a time and opportunity to express those feelings. You never know what others have going on — hard to believe when you live with them every day, but the truth is not everyone likes to share willingly. The book “Men Are from Mars, Women Are From Venus” clearly showed that men don’t like to share, but rather keep their heads down and solve problems on their own. Women often just want someone to listen. A culture of communication and improved marriage communication skills allows this to happen.
In the seesaw of relationships, we have to be aware and understand sometimes that we are the giver and sometimes we are the taker — it’s up and down, back and forth. Enjoy the ride!
Want to learn more about marriage communication skills and how you can enjoy the ride with your family? Click here and check out the book we wrote about it!