Do you feel like you and your spouse struggle with communication? Are you constantly stuck in what you feel like is the crazy cycle for not feeling heard?
In the beginning of our relationship, Josh and I would sit in the bathroom for hours sometimes trying to get each other to hear one another. We called them “bathroom talks”. We would try repeating ourselves using different words and what ended up happening is that we never listened, we were caught up in requesting.
We should want to serve each other in our relationship and in order to do that we should want to know how to do serve our spouse in the best way for them. We need to also learn how to tell our spouses what we need.
Talk with yourself first
Make sure that your need is a real need and not a want. We have a funny way of convincing ourselves that our wants are needs, which is lying to ourselves.
Really have a heart to heart with yourself and pray if you have a need that is not being met before you approach your spouse about it. You also have to ask yourself if you are always requesting them for “needs”. Are you rarely happy? If it is truly a need – communicate that with them.
A funny illustration, but it’s true. Josh delivering my coffee to me every morning while I’m still in bed is a want not what I need. I need to feel safe and that I can trust Josh with my heart. In the beginning of our relationship, it was tough for Josh because everything in my mind was a need because I was depending on him for my happiness instead of God.
Start with Praise
Tell your spouse about all the effort that you see them doing. You don’t want your spouse to think that your request is coming across as criticism only. You also want your spouse to feel that they should have as much information that they need to be able to have your relationship strongest as possible.
Josh tries very hard to be the best husband at all times – so when I come to him with a need that I have that isn’t being met he takes it very personally. When I start conversations with appreciation of how hard that I know he tries and works at our relationship, I do not want him to feel attacked.
Focus on how you feel
Tell them how you feel and why you feel this way. The goal here is to not put your feelings on them and make them believe your feelings are their fault. You have a need and that need not being met is making you feel disconnected.
It was important to Josh for me not to call him “punk”. This was a joking term that I used to call my boys when we were playing. I used to say ” you little punks”. One time, Josh and I were messing around and I said something along the lines of him being a punk. He instantly stopped and asked me to never call him that. He didn’t like that word and felt it was disrespectful. This phrase didn’t mean anything to me. But, did it make a difference in how it made him feel? No, so instead of saying “well it shouldn’t bother you” I said okay and I have never called him that again.
Ask them what they need
The point of marriage is to serve one another. You want your spouse to be able to know what you need and you also want to know what they need. This is a vital step in communication and talking about each others needs. Let’s be honest – women usually are the ones that communicate needs first and want to talk about things.
Make sure to ask your husband where he is possibly having a need that is not being met.
Remember we love you… God loves you….