Four Ways to Close the Communication Gap with Your Husband
by Cindi McMenamin
Is there a widening gap in your marriage? One that you aren’t sure how to bridge?
That gap, which can leave you and your spouse feeling isolated from one another, is more serious than you may realize.
A lack of communication is now the No. 1 cause for divorce in the U.S. Just a decade ago it was infidelity, but today failing to communicate, communicating poorly, or just letting the emotional gap widen between a husband and wife can be fatal to marriages.
Here are four ways to close the gap with your husband:
- Realize the deeper core wound that is driving the problem or argument. When you and I first understand our own pain and insecurities and then develop a greater understanding of what causes our husbands’ pain, we can work to better communicate and reconnect. Instead of thinking my spouse is just an angry man, say “I had no idea that my husband struggled so much with feeling he was not succeeding in the relationship.” What we focus on grows. If we focus on what our husbands are doing wrong, that will grow. If we focus on his positive qualities, that will heighten our awareness of them.
- Resist the urge to be defensive, accusative, or angry at your husband’s words, actions, or responses. Your husband’s words can make you want to lash back, storm out of the room, or go silent. But try to resist that kind of emotional reaction. Practice Ephesians 4:29 and make sure, even in the heat of the moment, that you don’t let “any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (NIV).
- Reject the lies that get you off course and cause division between the two of you. Your husband’s wounds aren’t the only ones in the picture. We, as wives, get triggered by a situation or by certain words and then we believe our lies: I am alone. I am devalued. I’m not appreciated. Combat those lies by telling yourself: This feeling of abandonment or rejection is not real. What is real is we love each other and we’re struggling through some mental and emotional attack.
- Receive the truth of who you are in Christ. When you receive the truth that you are not alone, you are valuable in Christ’s eyes, and you are deeply loved by God, you become more emotionally regulated and attuned to your husband. John 8:32 tells us, “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” You can also help him see not only the truth of who he is in Christ (if he’s a believer) but the truth that you are not his enemy. You are in his court. You will fight for him.
Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker and author of 16 books who helps women strengthen their relationship with God and others. She has been married 30 years to Hugh, a pastor and introvert, who shared his insights in her newest book, 12 Ways to Experience More with Your Husband, upon which this blog is based. For more on her ministry resources to strengthen your soul, marriage, and parenting, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com