Husbands, are you ready to turn a corner in your relationship with your wife? Take a little “pop quiz” to determine your current level of communication with your companion-for-life. Check which statement best describes your attitude about connecting with your wife. Which husband are you?
How well did you do? I’m sure you’re probably like me and recognized that you’re guilty of saying or thinking each of these statements at one time or another. I think you will agree that there is always room for improvement. So, what’s next?
Determine to talk to your wife as soon as you get home each day or when she gets home. Have a brief agenda of questions ready to ask her — questions like, “How was your day? … Any problems at home? … How can I help you this evening? … Do the children need any help with their homework?” I’m sure you can think of other kinds of questions you can ask to enhance your communication with your wife each day.
Take your efforts one step further and set aside time to be alone with your wife so that together (and alone!) you can talk about life, the future, your mutual dreams, and your goals as a couple. Plan an evening out for just the two of you. Go to a quiet place and force yourself to communicate. Make the effort. That’s right — I said force yourself to talk. If you’re anything like me (and I know you probably are), I’ll gladly let my wife come up with all the topics for discussion and then passively answer when questioned. So try taking some of the burden of communication off your wife’s shoulders and take some initiative. Plan a time for communicating.
Realize that communication is more than just words. Have you ever heard the saying, “Actions speak volumes?” Up to this point we’ve talked about verbal communication. This is where most men I’ve talked to have a problem. They just don’t talk to their wives! But if communication expert, Albert Mehrabian, is correct in his research, there is also a need for us to work on our nonverbal skills as well, or our actions. This is what Mr. Mehrabian discovered:
As much as 55 percent of a message we send may be communicated non-verbally through action. Another 38 percent of a message may be communicated through tone of voice. That leaves only 7 percent communicated through spoken words.
Wow! That means that our tone of voice and how we act around our wife communicates up to 93 percent of our thoughts and feelings toward her! So let’s be careful with what we don’t say, as well as make an effort to edify in what we do say.
For more encouragement in your spiritual walk,
read A Husband After God’s Own Heart.