We all know that “communication” is one the biggest challenges in marriage aside from finances and in-laws. Women may or may not always communicate the clearest and men may or may not always be paying attention. This is a common perception in marriage. Kevin and I watched an episode of Home Improvement just a few nights ago where the wife thought she told the husband something on numerous occasions and he was utterly confused at how he missed it. This is a classic event that happens in most marriages. We communicate, but are we really listening to one another. Here are 4 Ways To Be A Better Listener in Marriage:
Get Rid of Distractions
Distractions can also be in the form of technology such as the television, your phone or a computer. If you are really trying to talk about something important, make sure all distractions are removed or set a time to talk about things later. Trying to communicate with one another when distractions are present typically results in failure. Also, be aware of hidden distractions like your children, cooking, chores or other activities. If you are really wanting to listen, check for distractions first and ask your spouse to do the same. If it isn’t possible to remove distractions, decide on a time to talk later
Check Your Attitude
Mindset is key when you are communicating, especially if you are communicating about a topic you may not agree about. Take your time and make sure you are in the right mindset before starting the conversation. You want your walls to be down with your spouse so that you can be completely open and honest. Also, taking time can help eliminate any high emotions which could escalate the conversation. I try to make sure I am in a “soft-hearted” mindset as well, if my heart is hard or upset still, I try to readjust so that we can understand each other better. You should approach listening with a humble spirit ready to hear your spouse.
If we are honest, when we are communicating with others, most of the time we are thinking about what we are going to say next. Someone pointed this out to me a year ago and I realized how true it really was. I noticed that I do this in conversations with co-workers, friends and family and not just my spouse. Listening doesn’t mean hearing the other person and preparing what you are going to say next, it means clearing your mind and truly taking in what the other person in saying.
Yes, you hear me say that again and again here on Simply Clarke. Pray. If you are struggling with being a good listener in your marriage, pray for God’s guidance and teaching. Pray for God to soften your heart, show you opportunities to be a good listener and put listening into practice. You will be surprised how far just “listening” can go!
“Listening to your spouse with a sincere heart can open doors in your marriage you never knew were closed.”
Open doors in your marriage today! Another way to help your communication and become better listeners is to schedule time to talk. I mentioned this above, but it is a great practice for beginning to listen to each other more. Do you practice any other ways to be a good listener?