I started this marriage series to give you a glimpse of my marriage and what does and doesn't work for us. I thought I'd start out with some really important lessons we learned when we went on our engaged encounter before we got married. I think they are life lessons that really helped our marriage.
Lesson 3 - Communication
This seems totally obvious right? But it's not always easy to communicate to your spouse or loved one. I remember way back when we were dating Mr. and I had this HUGE mis-communication and it resulted in lots of crying on my part and wondering if he was just a liar. Turns out I just didn't understand what he had said to me and after much coaxing on his part I finally told him why I was crying and why I was so upset.*
*Background on me: I am NOT a communicator. I hate any kind of confrontation, I use to hold things in until I couldn't handle it any more and then suddenly I'm blowing up and upset about 6 different things that have happened over the past several months. This is what NOT to do!
Being married has taught me to communicate. Mr. is a huge communicator and over the past 9.5 years that we've been together, he's taught me, it really is best to communicate. Even when you think it's totally obvious and a given, say it out loud, half the time the other person isn't thinking along the same lines.
An example (before kids, and still applies) - When going on vacation, which should be a fun, happy go lucky time, can cause lots of stress if both of you aren't on the same page. If one person wants to go, go, go, while the other just wants to sit back and relax, that can cause some arguments. Now, before we go on any trip, we discuss what we want out of the trip, what we have to see and what is a nice to see type of thing. Through the years we've decided that it's best if we decided to do one major thing a day and then everything else is just a bonus. We don't try to jam pack our schedule with seeing everything all at once. We figure if both of us are tired and exhausted from waking up at the butt crack of dawn to get everything in, neither one of us is going to enjoy the trip or each others company. We fully enjoy that one thing we've decided to do and fully appreciate where we are and the luxury it is to be able to be where we are.
|Was not taken during Halloween, he wanted to wear his costume to the park in February. Cause you know, everyone wears a dinosaur costume to the park in the middle of February.|
When something happens that you don't like, say something in the moment (unless you're with company and it's not an appropriate time), but don't let it sit a week and then just blow up at them. Talk to your spouse, tell them, hey when you said this at dinner, it made me feel like this...Most of the time they didn't even realize that they had said that and didn't mean anything, but it's always nice to get it off your chest, so you're not just festering in the anger for a week and thinking they did it on purpose, when in reality it probably wasn't meant like that. I know when I don't say something right away, I just let myself get more angry until I'm crying one day and have no idea why, then realize that my feelings are still hurt from the previous week (yep that's right, I'm a crier...). Just get it out there, even if you think it's going to hurt their feelings, best to get it out in the open, get it off your chests and then move on from it. Remember lesson 1?
|When you communicate, everyone's happy!|
Communication in my opinion isn't always about hashing it out and talking, it can mean other things too.
Other ways to communicate:
- Complimenting each other. Tell your spouse they look good that day, even after a long day of work.
- Saying a simple "thank you for (fill in the blank), I appreciate it." A thank you goes a long way. I know when I've cooked dinner and decide to let Mr. have some time with Baby Fox I appreciate that he recognizes that I did do the dishes so he could get some baby time in.
- Small gestures. Like noticing that there isn't any more creamer and picking some up on the way home. While this isn't a spoken communication, it a gesture to let your partner know that you care about them and think about them throughout the day by buying them creamer for their (in my case) tea the next morning.
- Leaving random notes. I'll leave random notes in Mr.'s wallet or in his lunch or taped to his creamer.
What are your thoughts on communication? What are your downfalls? Where do you know you need to improve?
Mine is that when something hurts my feelings I don't always speak up, I just figure, eventually the feeling will go away or I'm probably overreacting. But in reality, if your feelings are hurt, that is a valid feeling and should be addressed.
The Other Lessons:
Lesson 1 - Learn How To Fight
Lesson 2 - Love is a Choice