Rhiannon is a graduate of Lee University where she met and married her college sweetheart, Andrew. Together they have a daughter who is almost a year old. She is the founder and administrator for www.
When my husband and I were engaged and couples would offer advice we often heard communication. It is not a new concept to hear that communication is key in marriage, but are we really committed to our communication?
One aspect of communication that my husband and I have had to work on over our few years of marriage is being attentive to what the other had to say while we were trying to communicate. I remember getting so frustrated because I felt like he was simply responding and not really listening. I would even quiz him on what I had just said simply to see if he could tell me what I had just said.
As we have grown in our ability to listen to each other we have learned to be A.L.L. in when the other is speaking. I have to give my husband credit for this communication acronym. We were discussing what makes up a good listener and he said you “ask, listen, learn” and bam! It stuck.
Time for Our A.L.L.
These are three easy questions to ask the next time you are communicating with your spouse.
- Am I asking questions?
When your spouse is talking are you engaging by asking specific questions about what they have to say?
- Am I listening intentionally?
Am I on my phone? Am I making eye contact? Am I focusing on this person or letting my mind wonder?
- Am I learning about this person and what they are talking about?
As I ask and listen am I learning about what is important in this conversation and to my spouse?
Marriage is a wonderful journey and it can be a very happy journey if we choose to invest our time and our energy into loving another person. One of the best ways to show your spouse you care is by listening.
Something many people don’t understand is that listening is not a passive activity; it is something that should be very active. When we passively listen the other person is very aware. They feel as if what they are saying is unimportant and the long term effect is that the person stops trying to communicate.
When we take the time to ask, listen, and learn we are conveying that we care.
The next time that you and your spouse get a chance to be open with each other take the time to be A.L.L. in and stop to ask, listen and learn. It is always worth it to be all in and be actively involved.
How do you ensure you are A.L.L. in during communication?