Say This, Not That: Healthy Communication Examples for Marriage

Say This, Not That: Healthy Communication Examples for Marriage

Communication can be difficult. You and your spouse seem to speak different languages. Attempts at talking seem to end up in a fight or in someone walking away. Emotions flare up easily. You want to communicate better, but what do you say? It would help to have some healthy communication examples you could adapt for your own marriage.

Your words have a powerful effect on your spouse. Words can emasculate your husband, rip your wife apart, or bring out the worst defensiveness in your spouse. Your words also have the potential to sooth your spouse’s volatile emotions, solve serious problems, and open the door to true intimacy.

Learning to hold your tongue and do your homework before communicating about something difficult or negative is a huge step. In planning what to say when you do talk, these examples of what to say and what not to say will show you what it means to:

  • Express what you need, think, feel, and want clearly
  • Demonstrate respect and love for your spouse
  • Communicate with a goal of understanding first
  • Solve problems instead of attacking the person

Don’t try this until you have an open heart. Once your heart is open, see how these examples may help you develop some healthier communication patterns in your marriage.

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Pursuing Intimacy with Your Wife

Pursuing Intimacy with Your Wife

(This is a message especially for husbands. Last week I talked about the other side – a post especially for wives.)

In about 80% of marriages, the husband desires sex more frequently than the wife. And then comes frustration. Sometimes anger. Loneliness. Disconnect. What’s a man to do?

There’s also the 20% – those marriages where you as the husband have less sexual desire than your wife. And then comes the frustration, sometimes anger, loneliness, and disconnect also. Can we ever get this right?

Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians are often quoted when this issue comes up among Christians:

“The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:3-5)

Some husbands read this and say, “Yeah! The Bible says my wife should give me sex when I need it. So wife, come on!”

So, how’s that working out for you?

You’re probably like the husbands I hear from regularly. You want your wife to want you. You have a physical drive for sex, sure, but it goes deeper than that. You want to connect with your wife, and sex is a huge part of how you do that. You want her to respond to you, even initiate. You want her to enjoy your intimacy together as much as you do. You feel most satisfied when she feels satisfied with your time together. Truly connect sexually with your wife is when you feel closest to her, and when you feel most like a man.

If the intimacy between you has been less than great, you may have come to settle for physical release only. But part of you knows there’s more.

Back to that Scripture from 1 Corinthians. So how does it apply? What can you do about it?

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10 Ways to Show Respect to Your Spouse

10 Ways to Show Respect to Your Spouse

A marriage without respect will not thrive. But sometimes it’s hard to know how to show respect to your spouse.

Where respect falls in the hierarchy of needs and desires may differ somewhat between men and women, but it’s a vital need for both sexes. Not demonstrating respect to your spouse will kill any real intimacy between you. Without respect you cannot be – and feel – connected to each other.

As a wife, you may feel as though your husband should earn your respect before you offer it. But if the situation were reversed, would you want him to demand you earn his love before he offers it to you? Showing respect for him should be a gift you voluntarily offer whenever possible.

As a husband, you may not realize how much the degree to which you show respect to your wife causes her spirit to either shrivel and die – or thrive and grow. If you want your wife to be a queen and display her beauty to you, treating her with respect will go a long way toward allowing her to do just that.

So here are some practical ways in which you can show respect to your spouse.

  1. Listen – really listen – to them.

Paying attention to and devoting real energy to understanding what your spouse is trying to communicate shows that you value what they have to say. Listening without interrupting or putting them down shows that their thoughts, ideas, opinions, and feelings are important to you.

  1. Seek out their opinion.

Don’t wait for your spouse to always initiate conversation. Seek out ways and times when you can ask for their input on what you are working on, struggling with, or interested in. Doing so shows you think they have something of value to offer.

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Suffering in Marriage

Suffering in marriage is common. I’m honored to be posting over at To Love, Honor, and Vacuum. Thank you, Sheila Wray Gregoire, for the opportunity! I hope you’ll check out all Sheila has to offer, and read the full post there.

Suffering in MarriageMarriage isn’t supposed to be about suffering, is it?

There may be a few marriages where everything goes smoothly and life is truly “happily ever after,” but truthfully I haven’t known any marriages like that. I considered my marriage very happy, happier than most, but it was not devoid of suffering. But it was actually those challenging aspects that brought me the greatest satisfaction and became the most valuable.

Suffering in marriage is a touchy subject. That idea may immediately bring up thoughts of abuse, control, manipulation, addiction, violence, and any number of other painful and destructive ideas. I just want to get this out of the way right now: those behaviors are never OK. Never. Period. End of story. If there is abuse, manipulation, or violence going on in your marriage, get some help now!

But there’s a whole other aspect to “suffering” that is much more common, perhaps universal.

As human beings we are basically selfish, and when two selfish people become joined in marriage there is certain to be suffering.

You are certain to be hurt if you get close enough to someone, and you are certain to hurt them also. And life has a way of bringing its own suffering in a thousand different ways. It’s not a matter of if, but of when. But it’s what you do next that really counts.

Suffering can crop up in many different ways. Your spouse wants sex when you don’t, or you want sex when your spouse doesn’t feel up to it – over and over again. Your spouse develops a serious illness. Your teenage child gets involved in drugs. Your baggage or your spouse’s baggage from your family of origin spills over into your life now. You’re forced to choose between a job you love and doing what’s best for your marriage or family.

Your suffering may be larger or smaller than someone else’s, but it feels really heavy – and probably unfair.

I hope you’ll check out the rest of this post over at To Love, Honor, and Vacuum. There I talk about how to tell the difference between “good” suffering and “bad” suffering. I’d love to see your comments and questions.

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What is a Submissive Wife?

What is a Submissive Wife?

She is obviously struggling. As a young wife and mother she wants to do things God’s way. She wrote to me in big capital letters, “WHAT IS A SUBMISSIVE WIFE?”

This young lady is trying to follow what Paul said in Ephesians 5:22: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” But she’s having a hard time knowing how to do that.

Perhaps that’s you too. I’ve recorded my answer in this short video.

I hope this is helpful. And I’d really like to know if these short videos are something you find interesting. If so, would you let me know in the comments below. And if you would share this video by clicking on the Forward Arrow in the upper right of the video above (or here), that would mean so much.

One of my favorite things to do is answer your questions. If you have a question you’d like me to answer, send me a message. I’ll read it personally, and look forward to answering YOUR question in the near future.

[reminder]What do YOU think Paul means when he says, ‘Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands’?[/reminder]

Tweetables: why not share this post?

  • A submissive wife is not a doormat, but is submitted first to God.   Tweet that.
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