When I think of all the marriage advice and suggestions Rick and I have shared with couples through the years, I realize it all boils down to one simple ingredient. Communication. Without that, everything falls apart. Communication is the glue that will hold a relationship together.
For example, finances are the number one cause of marriage problems these days. It is not the actual money (or lack of) bringing the strife, but the improper communication over the situation that may be tearing a couple apart.
I started out this blog discussing communication many months ago, but now feel the need to revisit it some more. If you don’t figure out how to communicate correctly with your spouse, you will never know the joyous marriage God intends for you.
Our different personalities and different backgrounds influence our communication. If you come from a family that screams at each other, chances are that is how you communicate to your spouse. Or more than likely, one spouse wants to talk and talk about everything, while the other holds it in, needing to think it through first. Or maybe, one spouse is used to arguing to resolve issues while the other refuses to talk at all.
God has amazing reasoning for what sometimes seems like madness to us. He brings a couple together to compliment one another. The strength in one may be the weakness in the other. When joined together though, they create a perfect whole.
When Rick and I first married, over 28 years ago (I swear, I don’t know how it can possibly be that long…), we did some pre-marriage testing. I scored as low as can be for assertiveness. Rick, on the other hand, scored as high as possible - quite a huge gap between the two of us. He also scored low in people pleasing where I scored off the charts.
Over the years, we have learned from each other. I learned how to be assertive (without being aggressive) and he learned how not to be so aggressively assertive. He learned how to react with more sensitivity to others, and I learned to react with less sensitivity (a necessary lesson for me).
Rick and I learned all this through watching each other and finding a happy medium for our personalities. That is part of the reason God joins such different people together. We are two different halves that become a whole, united as one, bringing out the best in each other. We learn how to do that together, unable to make those changes on our own.
While it sounds like a wonderful idea, this process can be most difficult. The sooner you face it and strive to figure it out, the faster you will grow into a harmonious relationship with your spouse.
First, you have to learn to communicate properly with each other in order to realize the intricate beauty of why God joined you together.
Much more to follow on communication...