I am starting this blog series to give you the secrets of a great marriage.  Marriage is a beautiful thing.  It was intricately designed by God to support you when you experience weak moments and give you an intimacy with another person deeper than you can fathom.  However, too many times marriage is taken for granted.  Approximately half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. We need to change our mentality as a society.  We need to value marriage and treat it as the precious gift that it is.  Last week’s post was on having regular Date Nights.  This week, I am concentrating on communication.

Probably one of the most important aspects of a great marriage is communication.  Ok, we have heard that a million times before, but what exactly does that mean?  There is so much involved in communication, and that is where it can get confusing.

1.  Talk to each other – This one is not as easy as it sounds.  Often, life will get in the way.  You are both in the same house at the same time, but do you really take time to actually talk?  Texting doesn’t count.  Texting is best for, “Hey honey, can you pick up some milk on your way home?,” but the get-to-know-you type conversations that are essential in a great marriage really need to happen face to face.

2.  Listen to each other – Ok, so this goes with #1, but it is important enough to have it’s own number.  So, you made some uninterrupted time to sit down with each other and do a good ole heart-to-heart.  Now, you need to listen to what your spouse has to say.  Some of it may not be as easy to listen to as others, and really, those are the most important conversations to have.  Find out from your spouse what is or isn’t working.  What can you do to improve?  Is your spouse happy?  It doesn’t always have to be this deep, but these conversations do need to take place.

3.  Pay attention to non-verbal communication – While you are talking (and every other time, for that matter), pay attention for non-verbal cues.  Your partner may be telling you everything you need to know without even telling you.  Is your wife frustrated?  Is your husband unhappy?  They will give you clues on how to make them happy.  You make them happy, and in turn, they make you happy.  It is reciprocal.

4.  Pray together – This is one that my church suggested.  They said that the divorce rate is just as high for Christian married couples as it is for non-Christian married couples.  However, if you pray every day with each other, your chances of divorce fall to below 1%.  That’s right, folks.  Just the act of coming together in prayer regularly will greatly affect your success rate.  How wonderful is that?

Ok, I saw this little clip of Everybody Loves Raymond last night and thought it was the perfect tie-in to this conversation on communication.  Let me preface this clip with this: I stopped watching this show a long time ago, because I don’t like how Raymond and Debra put each other down all the time.  And don’t even get me started on Raymond’s parents.  However, it was on TV last night when my son’s show ended on TiVo and it switched back to regular television.  I think it says a lot about communication.

I welcome any thoughts, suggestions or comments.  Please, let me know what else you feel makes a great marriage.

To schedule a session or consultation, email christina@christinatruelove.com or call 469-432-2245.