I found this post back in the drafts from way back in the beginning of our blogging time! I mean it was only like 3 and a half months into our marriage! I just had to share it with you. This post is from Ryan.
As we have just reached our 112th day of marriage I can proudly say that I have only spent one night on the couch! Since I have only slept one night on the couch I felt that I was qualified to offer some newlywed advice for improving marriage communication skills.
A few weeks ago we found ourselves in an interesting situation where we were testing our communication skills and patience.
Before you get the wrong idea… Me sleeping on the couch was not a result of our challenging conversation but rather a completely separate issue…
(I had an injury that required me to lay completely flat… the solution was to sleep on the flat, hard and horrible futon)
Anyway we were talking about Cassie’s W2 and pay stubs… I was asking questions and she would explain everything from her understanding… I would then follow with more questions.
We weren’t mad at each other… I wasn’t questioning her knowledge… I was just simply trying to understand… and she was simply trying to explain.
When it comes to numbers it’s pretty cut and dry for me… With numbers there should be understanding based on a formula… When I don’t understand something that involves numbers I ask questions until I understand… Because there should be a solution if all the numbers are right… I hope that made sense lol
After about a 30-45 min Q&A session had gone by she had answered the last question as best as she could…
I looked straight into her eyes and patiently said “I am so sorry but I don’t understand how this works”.
She looked right back into my eyes and patiently said “I don’t know how else to explain it”.
Here’s the thing about questions… people ask questions because they don’t know the answer… or you didn’t give them enough information to understand… plain and simple!
Well I suppose if one person isn’t paying attention they may ask questions but that’s a whole different blog post… Ryan playing video games = Ryan retaining 1% of the conversation (I rounded up)
The issue wasn’t that Cassie wasn’t explaining the information properly… and it wasn’t that I was missing something…
We both actually practiced great communication skills.
However the numbers we were talking about were all wrong… There were some errors on her documents… which is why I wasn’t understanding and why she couldn’t explain it… the data was wrong lol
Once we discovered the incorrect data… it was like the problem was solved!
We gave each other a big hug… and I said “I am so proud of us for remaining calm, responsive, patient and caring throughout that whole situation…
We never got mad, raised our voices or got short with each other… She didn’t stress me out.. I didn’t stress her out… The convo was stressful only because we couldn’t find understanding…
It was such a great experience to have… we can look back on it and know that we can effectively communicate with each other… and it to not turn into a real issue 🙂
I am no expert on communication but I challenge you to keep these things in mind next time you’re having a “tough” conversation…
Patiently seek to understand… the intent shouldn’t be to make someone wrong… the intent should be to see it just as clearly as the other person.
Patiently explain… If the other person knew the answer they wouldn’t be asking the question… explain in such a way that it brings complete clarity… sometimes we forget how much we know and the minor details are just as important as the major ones.
I think if both parties are willing to remain patient and try to understand the needs of their spouse communication is a pretty simple experience… It should be as simple as brushing your teeth! Keep in mind the keyword WILLING!
So there’s your newlywed advice for improving marriage communication skills… Feel free to share your thoughts below!
There you have it! Ryan’s thoughts on communication only a few months into our marriage. And if you asked him today he would still say it is all about willingness! Hope you enjoyed another post from Ryan’s perspective!
Until Next Time- Truly Love,