Posted by: Derek Guyer | August 27, 2008

Talk With Your Spouse Tip #11


If you haven’t practiced good communication as a couple, it’s likely the attempts you do make are…well, they’re fruitless and frustrating. Most marriages are plagued with problems of some kind. You may not have been through the affairs, abuse, or neglect that many couples have been through, but you still understand the dysfunction of communication within your own marriage. You’re not used to talking on much of an intimate level, and it can be a difficult transition when you decide to try.

If your talks as a couple are limited to the kids’ ball games, work, your golf game, or “John & Kate”, it’s likely there’s some stuff you both have been needing to clean out of the closet. For couples who are learning how to communicate on a deeper level than those kinds of topics, it’s important to note that timing is everything. As Solomon once said, “there is a time for everything under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) Speaking the truth at the wrong time, doesn’t make it wrong. It just makes the pain of the truth hurt worse. Using some discretion about when you have hard discussions is very important to the health of your marriage.

I spend a lot of time encouraging couples to set aside time specifically for the purpose of deeper communication. I’m not taking about a date night, although that can be effective. I’m talking about time for the two of you to spend some time talking about the problems you’re facing and even the things about which you’re happy.

Setting aside a specific day each week, or, even better, a time each night, allows each person to come in knowing that this is a time specifically dedicated to loving each other and building a better marriage. This is a time dedicated to listening and sharing. It may have to be snuck in just after the kids get into bed, in the morning before you start the day and are laying in bed and can talk for a few minutes, or even on the phone when you both have a break from work. Whenever it is, it must be planned. Laying a heavy conversation on your spouse at the wrong time can and will do a lot of harm.

Once you’ve set it up, there are numerous things you can do with the time:

  1. Bring daily household problems to the table
  2. Talk about your worries and pray
  3. Constructively talk about major issues and needed changes
  4. Create lists of things that could use some more time and attention
  5. Pray
  6. Discuss discipline and direction issues about the kids

Recognizing the communication problems in your marriage is a really important step. Doing something about them is even more imperative. So, do something profitable for your marriage. Have a good talk and ask God for it to happen at the right time.

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Responses

  1. I caught my wife…she never admitted it until I caught her red handed, even though I suspicioned it for several months. She blamed me for her affair for over two years until I threatened to leave if she didn’t get help and repent and be sorry for what she did. So she sort of did this, and we went to couples counseling and she said they were all mean to her…three different counselors, and wouldnt do anything the counselors said to help me rebuild trust. Its been four years now, and I am now contemplating divorce, and all she has to say now is that she is not doing it anymore and I need to get over it, and that there is something wron with me. I am so unhappy. I know what you mean about Christ’s trip to the garden, and accepting the cross, God’s will, and God has taught me so much about forgiveness, and the devastation of sin through this string of events, but I also know that Jesus made it perfectly clear that in instances of infidelity , it is”OK” to divorce. Is there any other sin that God allows this type of recourse? I dont know of any. There is something very special about a marriage, and when an affair happens, so much other “stuff” is automatically happening, the marriage fiber is broken, and can never be the same. Some things might become better, but the trust will never come back, if the instigator doesnt do their part, and marriage without trust breeds problems in ALL areas of the marriage, not just trust relating to sex…trust in areas of finance, trust in areas of child rearing, trust in areas of all that funtions in that intimate part of us that relates in a special way to our spouse. I am 51 yrs old, had been married to Terry 11 yrs when this happened…she had just turned 40. Fir the first 47 yrs of my life, even though I have had my share of problems as we all have…I never took any meds for sleep or depression. I have to take sleeping pills every night now, and have been on and off depression medicine, and see counselors regularly, all of this after I found out about the affair. My counselor has explained to me that my anxiety and depresion problems all stem from trust issues, and says that if she hasn’t been willing to assist in this area for four years that she will never do it. Please pray for me as I make this decision.

  2. Mike, I hate to hear of your pain. You have continually been on my mind since I read this comment last night. I am lifting you and your home up to God, as requested.

    As you said, God does allow for divorce in scripture and I can see how your situation might be just as he had in mind. Fortunately, God understands what it’s like to have the ones you love walk away continually. He understands the forgiveness and even the letting go.

    I pray you hear and discern God’s will through all of this, brother. I pray your wife is humbled and your heart is restored.

    Thanks for sharing so much with all of us.

  3. […] Talk With Your Spouse Tip #11 […]


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