There’s this unspoken assumption that meeting and marrying your soulmate results in an easy bliss filled life where you just “get” each other. You often hear of the older couple completing each other’s sentences; almost as if they’re able to read each other’s mind. Even if you don’t realize it we all have set habits that will allow anyone who spends an ample amount of time with you, the ability to accurately predict your thoughts and reactions to certain situations. BUT in many cases not even your spouse has the ability to fully identify your most inner thoughts, especially if you’re changing and growing (as should be the case). I always tell my husband I am not the same 21 year old he fell in love with. This 32 year old has a whole new set of demands and needs! But, I’ll admit there were times I thought he should have just realized that on his own. I can’t count the number of arguments we’ve had based on assuming the other person realized, understood and just didn’t care about each other’s perspective and thoughts on certain things…If only I married a mind reader, life would be so much easier, right?!
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Since I’m not married to a mind reader, I have to take steps to assure communicate is fluent in my marriage so that my husband and I both can live our happily ever after.
Here are three actions I engage in often to assure communication continuously flows in our marriage:
1). Date your spouse often: Single men, married men…ALL men dread the question “can we talk?” Regardless of whether the talk is heavy or light-hearted they tense up and become reactive as opposed to proactive. Date nights allow you to casually communicate your needs to your spouse and keep dialogue open outside of the demands of the home.
2). Teach him: There are some needs of mine, my husband genuinely wants to meet, but simply does not know how to meet them. Offering constructive feedback provides the opportunity to bring awareness to your needs or a situation that may be bothering you and allows your spouse to be cognizant moving forward.
3). Accept constructive criticism: Men often refrain from being honest with women because they think we can’t handle the truth or criticism about ourselves! Not the case at all, right ladies? I tell my husband “don’t have me walking around thinking I’m Mrs. Perfect and don’t have anything you need me to work on to satisfy you in our marriage.” The same way I encourage growth in him and highlight how he can meet my needs, I encourage him to share the same feedback with me. As long as he is positive with his feedback, I accept it.
The journey of marriage does not take place on a straight and narrow path. It takes two people navigating each other on the rocky road to their version of happily ever after!
Rhea A.G. Plummer is the Executive Director of GLAM Wives, “A community of wives committed to Growing Love and Marriage.” For more about Rhea and her journey to rediscovering her own identity and other stories related to love and marriage visit http://glamwives.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org