If you ask married people to name one thing that’s most important in a relationship, most of them will say communication. Interestingly, this is also at the top of the list of couples’ struggles.
What many don’t know is that the core of the problem lies not in people’s lack of skill in communication. It’s in the belief that even in the absence of communication, one can be understood. Think about it. How many times have you told your husband “I’m fine,” believing that they get what you feel?
You see, even if you’ve been with your partner for so many years, they can never fully understand your likes, dislikes, quirks, temperament, and more. This is why communication is necessary. You need to work on it. That said, these are the conversations that you should never neglect:
People usually frown upon small talk. It’s trivial. It seems pointless compared to talking about feelings and disagreements. But in truth, it forms part of what you know about your spouse. When you ask your partner about how their day was, notice that they single out an office meeting or an incident at the grocery store. This seems uneventful, but it reflects what stuck to them and why.
You can’t just discuss all the heavy, emotional stuff about your marriage all the time. That’s going to be draining and toxic. You need to talk about the small stuff, too. So ask your wife or husband how their day was. Send them a random comment about the new barista in your favorite coffee shop. Share how you bumped into a Beyoncé-look-a-like in the salon. Don’t neglect informal chats.
The reality of marriage is that it’s not all about butterflies in the stomach. Most of it is unromantic administrative tasks, such as doing the laundry, fixing the budget, paying the mortgage, and more. It’s easy to see why it’s essential to talk about these things: it ensures that everything in your household runs smoothly.
You won’t be able to sustain a loving marriage when you have trouble agreeing who does what in your tasks. So it’s important to discuss these things in moderation. You don’t want your marriage to be just about business meetings. You would quickly lose the intimacy. Experts in relationship counseling recommend that you determine which administrative decisions are worth discussing together. For instance, in terms of finances, a “meeting” will only be necessary when a planned purchase is over $300, but if it’s less than that amount, then it’s okay to decide individually.
This is the conversation that many couples avoid. Some are afraid that they’re going to hurt the other person. Others don’t want to be a burden to their spouse. Some don’t want to be vulnerable. The bottom line is that conversations about the loss of a job, death of a loved one, or unfaithfulness in the relationship are never comfortable, so one puts up walls and never communicates.
However, you should talk and listen to your spouse so that both of you would understand where you’re coming from. If you’re having trouble talking to your partner about an issue, it’s best to find a mediator or facilitator. Perhaps a marriage counselor, pastor, or spiritual adviser can help.
In the end, communication is crucial to every relationship. Never make the mistake of assuming that your partner fully understands you. Commit to the fragile, messy work of talking and listening well to your wife or husband. That’s the key to a more meaningful marriage.