Marriage communication – why is it so difficult for us ?

Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult for humans to communicate.  Is it just me or do humans seem like they are talking all the time.  If you could follow the average person around per day and count how many words or how long they talk you would be amazed.  We all have a family member or a friend that we wish would shut it up, once in a while.  If you have kids, WOW,  just watch them.  It is amazing to see how they can go from one subject to another, to another, to another and yes to another and they don’t wear out!  I had a couple ,that we were in business with, and they had some marriage issues.  We took them to see a mentor to get some help.  Hint – if you go to see someone who can help you, you should probably listen!   This guy talked for an hour and a half straight!  I mean he did not come up for air one time.  He must have had an extra air tank hidden in his stomach lining or his kidney.  I am convinced that the strongest muscle in the human body is the jaw bone.  Now I must qualify all my statements with the knowledge that I don’t speak very much at all.  As a matter of fact I could go days without talking and be perfectly fine.  OK let’s get to why I started all of this.

Last night me and the Mrs. had to have a talk about something that happened between us.   It wasn’t fun but it was very productive and we have a better understanding of how each of us sees the issue.  Oh, guys, this talk didn’t happen after laying in bed for  3 hours feeling the tension, then finally falling asleep, and then hearing those words that all males loves to hear.  “Can we talk”?  AAAAAGGGGHHHHH!!!!!   That is how all our talks used to start.  They also used to be championship fights of: who could protect their turf, call the best names, make the other person feel the worst, and throw in some belittling and  disrespect.  The crazy part was we never consciously thought about trying to do those things.  We didn’t start our talk and have the thought,  I cant wait to make her or him feel like garbage.  Actually, we were both trying to get to same end point but we had lots of obstacles in our way that made the conversations more difficult than they should be.  If you get rid of the obstacles then it becomes easy to have a conversation like we did last night.

The key foundation of any relationship has to be established on moral authority and speed of trust.  When you don’t have that, every conversation will go bad.  When you do have it every conversation will have the potential of going well.  There are obviously other unique things, to us individually, that we need to work on as well.  Last nights conversation was one of working together as a team to problem solve something.  Which is what you are when you are in a marriage.  You are 2 different people, different personalities, different weakness’ and strengths but you are a team, you are one.  At the beginning of our marriage we were two people living together and we defiantly didn’t think of it as being one person.    In the beginning I didn’t have moral authority because there were some blatant sins that I needed to deal with.  Until those were solidified our foundation would have been on sand and all other changes in myself wouldn’t have the same impact.  Then I had to start dealing with my selfish nature.  Instead of looking at everything from my angle and how it affected me.  I had to understand that she had an angle also and try to see from her side.  Initially we couldn’t have that kind of communication face to face.  We would go to different parts of the house to cool off and call each other on our cell phone.  Stupid, I know, but it worked for us.  Then we started to build trust with each other and that allowed us to admit areas that we knew we were weak in.  I had to learn that when she was weak, crying or sad that was not the time to get mad but that was the time to comfort her and let her know that we would overcome this challenge.  It seems like it was more complicated than that but it wasn’t.  We just kept doing that process over and over again.  Lots of times we had to have our mentors involved so they could help us see where our thinking was off.  In the beginning we changed just because we were more worried about letting our mentors down then changing for each other. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that this was a quick or easy process.  It  has taken us 5 to 7 years to get to a really solid foundation.

Lets go through some basic thoughts to get  you moving in the right direction.  Side note – these don’t have to be big huge jumps or changes.  Every big success is a bunch of small success put together.  Forgot where I got that one so it is now a Bill Lewis original.   Most of what I am going to recommend revolves around reading.  Confucius says, ” By three methods we may learn wisdom:  first, by reflection, which is noblest: second by imitation, which is the easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.  Reading allows you to reflect on yourself.

1. You have to start working on yourself – if you have moral flaws or trust issues  with yourself then growing with another flawed person is going to be really hard.  Recommended books: How to win friends and influence people,  What to say when you talk to yourself, Speed of trust,  Bringing out the best in people, Leadership and self-deception, The pursuit of holiness.                                                                                             These should help start to identify things about yourself that we need to work on.

2. Love language – find out how your partner wants them to be filled, not how you think they want them filled.  Start doing some small things. Recommended book – 5 love languages.

3. Start to understand how each other process things.  Recommended book – DNA of relationships, love and respect, 5 languages of apology, personality plus.

4. Learn better communication tools.  Recommended books – crucial conversation, courage.

5. Use a mentor.  You need someone who is unemotionally involved and has results that you want

6. Read the bible.  Every issue we have in marriage communication reverts back to some sin we have in our life.

There is so much that goes into this topic that you could devote an entire blog just to this subject.  So I recommend that you seek out as much information as you can and continue to grow and become better.

God Bless

19 thoughts on “Marriage communication – why is it so difficult for us ?”

  1. Dear Bill,

    I was told about your site, by Eddie Chase, and I am part of Team.
    I have had the priviledge of seeing you in person, twice now.
    I would just like to tell you that your words are being seen, and are greatly needed. I am struggleing with my Marraige, and divorce is very real. Not for lack of trying, but it does seem like it’s for lack of everything. I have been to counseling, several times, with different counselors, and psychologists, to no avail. Do these people have successful relationships? I do not know. That information is not given, nor recquired. And their theme seems to be on the individual, and the individual need. No wonder that the process doesn’t seem to work, when they teach you how to be selfish, and when you get to where, and how you want to be, only then do you work with your spouse. At least that is how my experience has been. Thank you, for your encouragement and wisdom. And lastly, I just want you to know, that I feel Eddie was right when he said your blog was Awesome!

  2. Amazing wisdom. I am so thankful that you and the Mrs. have been a part of our lives over the past few years. The above mentioned books have changed our lives and our marriage for the better.

  3. Hey Bill! One book that has helped Stacey and I tremendously is Sacred Marriage. As our marriage unfolded, and I came face to face on a daily basis with my self and my selfish sins, I really started to question to the point of marriage… I’m not proud of this state that I was in for such a long period of time, but I really started questioning why ANYone should ever get married! The longer I was married, the more and more the concept DIDN’T seem to make sense to me… but then Jackie and Lindsey recommended Sacred Marriage to Stacey and I, and everything started to change for us!

    I know that everyone is different, and we have read a good handful of those books you listed above. In fact, don’t think Sacred Marriage would have hit home so directly with Stacey and I unless we would have had the foundation of the listings above. There are many that I have not yet read, and I am looking forward to conquer the God given blessing of marriage and changing myself for good marriage come to fruition.

    Thank you so much for all your wisdom, discipline and self control. I see your strengths reflecting through so many other leaders on your team.

    God Bless!

  4. Wow,this is soooooo on track. Marriage is a partnership and it takes teamwork. Thanks for your wisdom and nuggets on how to improve in our relationships. Your wisdom and knowledge is truly an inspiration and a great educational tool to all who will apply it in their daily life. Thanks again Bill for sharing your experiences with us.

  5. Bill thanks for starting blog!!!! I appreciate your time and wisdom & looking forward to the future blogs as well. Thanks for the information. I lacked ALL this in my past relationship but your right it takes BOTH people to have a foundation of having a relationship with trust and morality. Thanks!!! so blessed you guys are apart of my life and my PC upline.

  6. Bill and Jacikie,
    You both are an amazing Team. We have enjoyed the privlege of watching the two you become one from the first day. Overcoming labels, being the parents Jacob needed, and growing into an outstanding example of a family,(now with 4 children) that GOD expects all of us to become. In a day when the divorce rate exceeds that of seniors graduating from college and domestic violence is a number one cause of law enforcement casulties, you have become the marraige that exemplifies excellence. May GOD protect us all on our journey as we follow the two of you. To repeat a statement that I have heard you say many times, we are affecting peoples lives, this is NOT a game. We are serious about our LIFE journey with the two of you.
    GOD Bless you both.
    BP n Sherry

  7. Bill,
    This was right on track.. The timing couldn’t have been better.. Relationships are the cornerstone to everything we do in Life. Just being able to experience such an amazing couple has truly helped me & Elise in our relationship. You two are an amazing example and inspiration to us all.. Your knowledge and wisdom has been a blessing in itself in our relationship and we wanted to thank you both from the bottom of our hearts, how much we truly appreciate and admire your Leadership.. I dont think I have every Respected a couple as much as we respect you and Jackie.. Appreciate your wisdom and knowledge as always !!

  8. Bill,
    We’re recent subscribers and just read this. Great insight and I know for myself, I have needed every bit of this to be a better wife to my husband. I’ve read some of the books you recommended and am inspired to read the others. Funny, we’re working with a couple similar to the one you described in the beginning and this information is going to help big time! I have a tendency to put others on some huge unattainable pedestal. Your honesty and solutions are just the right thing. Thank you!!

  9. Hey Bill and Jackie,
    What can we say but what priceless information you are sharing with the world. We appreciate you sacrificing your time and efforts for the purpose of helping others with your knowledge and mentorship. We personally thank you for being a part of our lives. Because of you and Jackie’s example we know we can shoot from a good life to a “great” life. We see how you have a firm foundation in many areas; faith, marriage, friends and finances. Thank you for showing us how to live life on purpose instead of just exsisting day to day. You both are amazing people!

  10. Thanks Bill and Jackie for sharing. Very timely and important information for all of us to implement into our daily lives, whether we are newlyweds or have been married for a number of years.

  11. Thank you for being so open about your struggles in this blog, on stage and cd. It has had a ripple effect beyond what you and Jackie will probably ever know. I need to keep reading …. and reading …. and reading. My personal struggle is more with conflict avoidance …. the information on how to conflict resolve, as well as how to love, encourage, respect, edify, etc. has been so amazing.

  12. Thanks for your openness Bill. I so appreciate your transparency and teaching. It’s helpful to understand not only the journey that you’ve gone through and the lessons and techniques you’ve learned, but also that it WAS a journey and to understand where you were at the start. So often people go through such a journey, but won’t share the struggles, leaving the rest of us to wonder what we’re doing wrong. Thanks to the education I’ve gotten through Team, I’m on the journey, and am more able (and willing) to see my own flaws, and work to address them.

  13. Thanks Bill for the great post . Our marriage has been greatly improved by you and Jackie. The Speed of trust” book was a big one . I now am able to recognize when we do have a misunderstanding it’s because we don’t understand the others intent. For the most part that is. If I realize when we are not seeing eye to eye it usually is that I don’t recognize her intent and need to seek to understand . So thanks again for recommending that book.
    I also appreciate your deep insight on how the mind and relationships work . Keep the posts coming.

  14. Bill, thank you so much for sharing this. As others have mentioned it is amazing timing. I can say without hesitation the information I have learned from reading some of the books above and having coaches/mentors who have loved me and encouraged me to hold on, to become my best self, has been an amazing blessing to my marriage. I have a lot more growing to do on this wonderful journey called LIFE. Thank you and your Mrs for your transparency and friendship.

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