Empty Nesters and Communication Styles
You know your love language, now how to do communicate?
1. In disagreements, remember that there won’t be a “WINNER” and a “LOSER.”
In marriage, disagreements are inevitable, but fighting is optional. Couples shouldn’t fight because a “fight” has a winner and a loser, but in marriage, you’re always on the same time so you’ll either win together or lose together. In disagreements, move forward with mutual respect to find a solution where you can win together.
2. When your spouse is sharing with you, ask, “Do you want me to LISTEN and offer SUPPORT or listen and offer ADVICE?”
Men, we tend to want to “fix” every struggle our we share, but sometimes they just need to listen and offer support and encouragement instead of a coming up with an action plan for “fixing” the problem. Your spouse usually needs your encouragement and support more than he/she needs your advice.
3. Answer the PHONE when your spouse is calling and try to stay off your phone when your spouse is with you.
Our smart phones are powerful tools for staying connected, BUT they can also be powerful distractions that harm communication in marriage. When your spouse calls, do everything you can to answer. It’s a simple way to show him/her their place of priority in your schedule. When you’re together with your spouse, do all you can to stay off the devices so you can focus on each other.
4. Take the “SECRET-FREE Guarantee.”
The healthiest marriages are completely honest, transparent and vulnerable in their communication with each other. They don’t keep secrets from each other and they don’t tell lies. There are no hidden passwords, purchases or pursuits. If you’re keeping secrets in your marriage, please come clean. Secrecy is the enemy of intimacy in marriage.
5. Be each other’s biggest ENCOURAGER; NOT the biggest CRITIC.
Your marriage should be a safe refuge where you both gain encouragement from each other and not constant criticism. If the tone of your communication is characterized by nagging, correcting, complaining, criticizing or any other form of negativity, then a toxic environment is being creative. Speak life to each other. Build each other up, and don’t tear each other down. Be the one who wipes away your spouse’s tears; not the one who causes them.