Most women I talk to think communication is the biggest problem they have in their marriage. Communication can certainly be a tricky thing.
So, in this episode, I’m going to give you 3 of my most powerful marriage communication tips to get communication in your marriage back on track right away!
These tips will help you set a foundation for positive, healthy communication in your marriage. This is the best place to start when you are trying to communicate better with your husband.
If you would like more inspiration, download my Ultimate Guide to Guilt-Free Self-Care HERE!
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Welcome to A Life Designed.
My name is Tina Haisman. I help women who are struggling with the overwhelm of trying to balance being a wife, mother and career woman. When they work with me, they discover how to create their own unique level of balance so they can finally experience the joy, passion, success and fulfillment they have been seeking in life.
Today’s podcast is about How to Cultivate Healthy Communication in Marriage
But before we get started, I have something for you. A free download called the Ultimate Guide to Guilt-Free Self-Care. It’s a Guide to help you take care of yourself in mind, body and spirit so you can feel like your best self every day. Visit my website to download it. Tinahaisman.com
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Now let’s Dive IN and talk about How to Cultivate Healthy Communication in Marriage
Most women that I talk to think communication is the biggest problem they have in their marriage. So, today, I’m going to give you 3 of my most powerful communication tips to get communication in your marriage back on track right away!
These tips are not necessarily the ones about how to have a difficult conversation with your husband. I do have an episode on that from August 2018.
These tips are what you will use to set a foundation for positive communication in your marriage. This is the right place to start when you are trying to communicate better with your husband.
Tip #1. Communicate Appreciation to your husband Often
According to research by Shaunti Feldhan, men have a deep need to feel appreciated for what they do.
72% of all men say hearing “Thank you” “Deeply Pleases” them.
Think of it this way, a woman's saying "Thank you" to her man is the emotional equivalent of his saying "I love you" to her. Sit with that for a moment. Think of how good it feels to hear “I love you” from your husband. That’s how good it feels to him to hear “Thank you” from you.
So, this is a huge tip! But guess what! Unfortunately, according to Shaunti’s research only 1 in 4 men feels actively appreciated by his family. And 44% feel unappreciated. Ouch.
I know we all appreciate our husbands! But maybe we need this gentle reminder to express it! And to make sure they hear it!
Of course, you want to express it genuinely, but to get you started, some examples of things you can say are:
“You are such a great dad.”
“Thank you for going to work for our family.”
“I love how you handled that meltdown…”
“Thank you for taking out the trash today.”
Yes. We should thank them even for things we EXPECT them to do.
When my client Dawn started doing this, her marriage went from barely hanging on to thriving. I just love seeing her happy family pictures on Facebook now, knowing that she created that happiness with a few tweaks in how she was communicating with her husband.
Expressing our gratitude to our husbands is a vital way to keep the doors of communication open and foster the connection in our relationship. Think of it like a primer.
Tip #2. Communicate Your Admiration Often
You might be thinking admiration is the same as appreciation, but it’s not.
Appreciation addresses what he does. Admiration addresses who he is.
Both are important.
Because according to our friend Shaunti Feldhahn, the deepest worry inside every man is “Do I measure up? Am I good enough?”
Ladies, our husbands are far more soft and vulnerable than we realize.
They can be taken down very easily … although it doesn’t seem like it.
In this aspect of communication, positive words of affirmation are the crown jewel.
We have the power to use our words to either build up or tear down our men.
When we communicate our admiration, we build them up, and this opens them up to communicate. This creates a feeling of connection for them.
So, here’s an example. One time, my husband noticed a button was missing from a work shirt, so he went to gather the sewing kit and started to sew it back on. He didn’t even ask me for help. So, I took advantage of the opportunity to compliment him.
I said, “Wow! Here is a guy who sews on buttons. Fixes broken things around the house even cooks meals! You’re just a jack of all trades!” I was serious about this compliment. I was really impressed.
My husband smiled then added, “Yes, and I even put on business clothes and go to work every day.”
Awww! He loved that! My taking a moment to share with him my admiration started his day off right and filled up his love tank.
Now. Listen to me! At the same time this conversation is going on … there is a pile of his clothes hanging on the end of the bed and two pairs of shoes and socks on the ground right next to the bed. I dislike this. He knows this.
But do I mention that? No!
Because if using our words can build them up, then using our words to criticize will equally tear them down and shut down communication.
If we have a complaint of our husbands, we might do better to look for a compliment instead. Ignore when they do wrong, and compliment what they do right.
If you reduce negative communication and add in more positive communication, you will notice a very positive shift in the mood and confidence in your husband and a more open door of communication.
I believe the bible tells us something about this … The apostle Paul said, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8).
Tip #3. Communicate Desires, Not Complaints
Have you ever heard your husband say, “I can never please you.” I sure have. That little phrase tells a big story about how your man is feeling. It tells you that he is shutting down because all he hears from you are complaints and criticism. Ouch.
Often when a woman wants her husband to do something, she complains about it or phrases it as something she does not want.
For example, if she is trying to get everyone ready to leave the house to go somewhere, she might say, “Hurry up! I don’t want to be late.”
This is seen as a command, demand or a complaint by her husband, and he might respond negatively.
If instead she said, “I would love to make it to the party on time.” Her husband would see it as an opportunity to make her happy.
Do you see the difference?
The first way is negative and states a complaint or a demand. But the second way is just expressing what she wants. It’s much more positive.
The secret to expressing our needs is telling our husband what we do want, not what we don’t want.
Let me give you an example. I had a client who didn’t feel her husband was helping her enough. She felt like she was having to do everything by herself. Working. Cooking. Cleaning. Giving the kids baths and doing the bedtime routine at night.
Her husband never offered to help. He just stayed on the couch watching TV. She was growing more and more resentful, because she thought he should offer to help.
So, what did she do? Well, she made it clear that she was upset by banging the dishes as she was washing them and putting them away and by making passive-aggressive comments about how nice it would be to be relaxing on the couch after work.
One day her husband said, well, “Maybe if you weren’t so negative, someone would want to help you.” And so a negative argument would follow.
Now that she has learned how to better communicate with her husband, she simply says, “I need help.”
This is a beautiful thing to say, because it allows our husbands to step in and do something to make us happy.
The next step is to tell him what you are trying to accomplish, instead of giving him an assignment. Let him tell you how he can help! It’s a win-win! You get help. He gets to do something that makes you happy. And that makes him feel good.
The final step is to offer some appreciation for his help afterward! Isn’t this a much nicer cycle than the one that started with complaining?
The secret is this. When we communicate our desires or what we need, we are opening up communication. But when we complain, his ears shut down. And we shut down communication.
So, girls. I know this is all easier said than done. It definitely takes practice. And if you are willing to practice this to improve the connection and intimacy in your marriage, I’d love to be by your side and help you.
If you would like to know more about how coaching can help you, reach out to me for a complimentary discovery call. We can take a look at where you are, where you want to be and what is holding you back. Working with me will help you fix your marriage faster than going it alone.
Remember! I have created the Ultimate Guide to Guilt-Free Self-Care to help you feel like your best self every day. You will find it on my website. Tinahaisman.com
Don’t forget to join the Life Designed Community on Facebook!
Thank you! See you next week!