Have you gone out to eat and seen an older married couple sitting and eating without saying a word to each other? This is such a sad sight because they have so much to talk about, so much to learn about each other. But, they think they know it all. Or, maybe they are simmering with annoyance with each other. Maybe years of unsaid complaints are sitting there just waiting to be said. They might as well be in different restaurants in far-flung towns with all the communication that isn’t happening. This does not have to happen to your marriage even if you have struggled with communication in the past because there is one simple secret that will revolutionize the communication in your marriage.
We’ve all heard the term communication and we all know how important communication is in relationships. But communication is an overused word that seems to have lost its meaning in our culture. You see, we can “communicate” without really seeking to know or understand each other. The term communication can just entail relaying information which simply doesn’t cut it when it comes to the depth of communication that a marriage relationship requires. Too often, our communication is focused on ourselves. Are they listening to me? Are they interested in my thoughts? Do they understand my feelings? When both people in a marriage are so focused on being understood, no one is taking the time to understand each other. When we do this we may think we are communicating, when all we are going is simply going through the motions. So let’s learn a little about communication.
Experts believe communication can be divided into five levels:
- General information – The weather is…
- Learned information – The score was…
- Personal information – I think that…
- Emotional information – I feel…
- Vulnerable information – I am ashamed to say…
Q. What level of communication do you think your marriage reflects?
The Secret to Improving Communication in Marriage
To truly improve communication in your marriage, sometimes you need to redefine the word. Instead of communication, we use the word DISCOVERY because it evokes an active posture in listening and learning. It helps us grasp that telling each other the facts of our day is just the tip of the iceberg. Instead, we need a gut-level sharing of feelings, desires & dreams.
DISCOVERY leads you down the path to the truest form of communication which is seeking to discover and understand the other person. Communication often feels me-oriented, as we try to get our spouse to listen to & understand us and our feelings. Instead, using DISCOVERY as a model turns our communication into an other-oriented conversation. This is the secret to improving communication in your marriage; being interested, intrigued and actively pursing the understanding of your spouse.
Why is discovery such a powerful thing? Because we cannot truly love someone we don’t know. The only way to know our spouse is to be actively discovering them throughout our lives together. This is why couples “grow apart,” because we don’t live in a bubble or stay static. We learn, grow, and change as we age. If we aren’t actively knowing each other, we get disconnected, disenchanted and disengaged.
“Now the man Adam knew Eve as his wife…”
The beautiful thing about DISCOVERY is that it works in every relationship you apply it to. It can bring depth and intimacy to marriages, as well as parent/child, or friend/friend relationships. Discovery shows that you aren’t only in the relationship for what you can get out of it. It shows love by showing interest in each other’s day, as well as their ambitions, worries or interests. To begin to learn how to DISCOVER each other, I have a fun little game that has questions you may not have ever thought to ask your spouse. It’s fun but more importantly, it helps us realize that there are always new things to discover about each other. That’s what brings romance, intimacy & richness to a life spent together.
Sign up here to get your free printable reDISCOVER Game. I hope it provides lots of laughs and learning as you reDISCOVER each other!
Extra Content: reDISCOVERY game
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