"I had a revelation last night." My husband always panics when I make a statement like that. The only thing worse is one that begins with "I was thinking." He cringed a little when he asked me what that revelation had been.
"I am supposed to write." Keep in mind that I have been writing full-time for the last six years. I work as a columnist and freelance writer. I spend time every day crafting words in one form or another. I am a writer.
"Um, aren't you already doing that?" I concede that under the circumstances his confusion was fair - at least in hindsight. At that moment in the conversation all I heard was my husband being unsupportive of my dreams.
Communication - even for two people that have degrees associated WITH communication - comes with its challenges when moving from one human to another. There are days when I can say something and the look on my husband's face tells me with no uncertainty that he did not understand a single word that came out of my mouth. Other times I can say something and he will hear something different.
We may speak the same language, but our translators work on different wavelengths.
Top Secrets for Communicating with a Spouse
1. Understand what you mean. It would have helped if I had fully understood my revelation. I am supposed to be writing words that tap into my passion and not just writing words. A little explanation can go a long ways towards evening out the wavelengths.
2. Choose the right time to talk. Asking important questions while he is trying to pull out into traffic leaves him frustrated and possibly leaves the car in bad shape as well. Make an appointment to talk and be sure that it is calm and quiet when that time arrives. It may require sending the kids to the grandparents or just sitting out on the porch. Create a time and a place where real conversation can occur.
3. Practice listening. My husband likes to remind me that I have two ears and one mouth for a reason. I prefer to think it is NOT because he is pointing out that I talk too much. No matter his why, I know that I have to make a habit of listening to him if I want to begin to have him listen to me.
It may not be the key to everything, but it will make a different in a lot of it. Communication will unlock a lot of doors that have been nailed shut or just forgotten. Learning (and practicing) the secrets to communication can pave the way for greater things to come.