• Heather Marie Jessop

The Seven Rules to Live by When Communicating With Your Spouse.

Be honest. Have you ever gotten upset with your husband because he didn’t understand your hints, subtle cues or read your mind? Are you constantly fighting over the most random or smallest things?

Oh, I most certainly have… more than once, twice… ten times. I have been stewing in the kitchen as I wash dishes thinking to myself, he knows I am tired, this meal didn’t cook itself while he sat on his butt playing games on his phone!!

You have been there, too. Don’t lie to yourself. I know how women think.

Men don’t understand subtleties. So, I am going to give you 7 rules to live by when communicating with your spouse.

Schedule conversation. Don't try to have a conversation with your husband when he is distracted and chaos is ensuing in the house. Men compartmentalize things so trying to talk with him about something you want him to remember when he is on the phone, dealing with kids or playing video games is not the best time. He won't hear you.

Instead, schedule a time in the evening when it is just to the two of you to let him know that you are having dinner with your parents this weekend, your daughter has a recital, that something funky is going on with your SUV or whatever important topic that you want to discuss. We have "pillow talk" each evening as we get into bed. That is a great time for me to inform my husband of any new topics he needs to be aware of.

Be specific. Be straightforward, to the point & direct with your wants, needs and desires. If you want help with the dishes, cleaning or with getting the kids ready for bed say so. Ask clearly, nicely and be specific.

Avoid a snarky condescending attitude as it will get you NOWHERE and nowhere fast.

If he says no then he says no. No need to start a fight.

No hints. This goes right along with being specific. Avoid beating around the bush, giving hints, saying something with a hidden meaning or expecting he can read your mind. Men are simple creatures by nature so they don’t get it when we do this to them and then get upset with them. So stop!!

Pay attention!! Give him your undivided attention when speaking to him. Turn and face him, put your phone down and listen. REALLY LISTEN! 93% of communication is non-verbal. 55% being posture and 38% being your tone of voice. Use it wisely.

Really Listen! Listen to hear what is being said not to respond. Listen without being defensive and don’t assume what is being said. In this broadcast here I talk about Positive Intent.

A simple way to gain understanding instead of getting upset is to repeat back what your spouse has said. “So, what I am hearing is…..” You will get much farther in the conversation using this than automatically making an assumption.

Be intentional. Most couples spend less than 20 minutes a week talking with each other!! This is just crazy to me. We should be talking for at least 20 minutes a day at a minimum.

Scheduling time each night for each other to talk will help open up that line of communication, allow you to be more open and honest and connect easier.

Use “I feel” statements. Avoid pointing fingers and laying blame by turning any issues you have towards yourself. For example, “I feel overworked and exhausted taking care of the house work everyday.”

Using “I” statements will decrease the chance that your spouse will feel the need to defend themselves.

Follow these seven rules or guidelines to effectively communicate with your spouse. Doing so will reduce miscommunications and misunderstandings.

Happy Chatting!!

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