by John H. Thurman Jr, M.Div., M.A., LPCC
but pride closes your ears to advice and gives birth only to quarrels and strife.
Proverbs 13:10 TPT
Men, have you ever noticed that your wife is usually more right than wrong when she attempts to give input? And ladies, while we men sometimes offer unsolicited advice, we can often be spot on.
Today I am going to give you 5 ways to enrich your communication with your wife.
One of the components of building strong, long-lasting, resilient relationships is for a couple to have the ability to share in decision-making. Therefore, accepting your partner’s influence is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a robust relationship.
Marriage is all about giving. So, what is this concept of accepting influence?
The ability to accept your spouse’s influence means that you welcome and respect your spouse’s thoughts, ideas, impressions, insights, and feelings. Doing this allows them to help you make decisions that impact you, your family, and your relationship.
When you accept their influence, you acknowledge that your spouse has a valid point of view and that you value it. It demonstrates that you are open-minded and welcome the valuable insight they bring to the marriage. Accepting their advice and influence demonstrates that they are essential, and their input is important, even when we disagree.
Before reviewing the 5 ways to enrich your communications with your wife, let’s take a moment to compare health and unhealthy influence.
Because influence in a relationship is unavoidable, you need to determine which types of influence are healthy and which ones are not. The following list is not exhaustive but is designed to help you consider some of these interactions.
· Your spouse gently encourages you to take care of your health
· They support and have input into your personal, business, and spiritual goals
· You both encourage each other to pursue your interests
· You have each other’s back
· Your spouse encourages you to participate in unhealthy things (smoking, drinking, drugs)
· They constantly nag you about your weight or some habit
· You feel criticized, controlled, or manipulated
· You feel that you have no vote in your marriage
*Note: if you feel that you are in a one-sided relationship and your spouse does not value your input, be sure you feel safe. If you don’t feel safe, get help.
The ability to accept your partner’s influence is a muscle you can strengthen with practice. The solution is to be willing to compromise because the more open you are to each other’s input, the more rewarding your marriage will be.
Here are five additional ways to avoid the mental tug of war when accepting your spouse’s influence.
First, do a gut check. Are you trying to score a personal victory or come up with a joint resolution?
Second, listen with consideration to your partner’s point of view. After all, the Scripture reminds us:
Third, remember this vital relational point: the more influence you accept, the more influential you become.
Fourth, actively look for ways to say “yes.” There is tremendous benefit in being flexible and adaptable in seeing your spouse’s perspective, even if you don’t wholly agree. Here is the bottom line: Do you want to be correct, or do you want to stay together?[i]
Fifth, extend grace. A perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who won’t give up on each other. No one is perfect. Aiming at perfection is an energy vampire that will steal valuable time and resources from your life and get you nothing but trouble. By extending grace to your spouse, you will enhance your capacities for love, trust, growth, and intimacy.
There is nothing easy about marriage. It takes compromise, sacrifice, and revealing yourself to another person. But suppose you are willing to do the work and submit to the process. In that case, you will have a resilient, rewarding, long-term relationship.
I hope that I have you thinking. This is such an important piece of learning to share life together.
My challenge is for you to choose a couple of ways you might be more intentional in the way you engage your wife.
So which of the 5 ways to enrich your communication with your wife will you choose?
I’d love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment.
Be sure to check back next week when I will be sharing “9 Communications Skills that will Enhance Your Marriage.”
If you need help, get it!
You can reach out to me by either calling me: at 505-343-2011 or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Would you like to receive a free copy of Dr. John Gottman’s How to Build Fondness and Admiration in Your Relationship? Just text the word ADMIRE to 33777 and receive your copy today.
Link to John Thurman’s Resilient Solutions Shortcast of the same title.
John Thurman 505-343-2011 email: email@example.com