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Uncommen Goals: How to Communicate with Your Spouse

Uncommen Goals: How to Communicate with Your Spouse

I’ve been married 30 years, and through those years I’ve seen all kinds of marriages around me. I’ve seen people that have been together for 40+ years that are really bad examples of marriage. I’ve seen people married for three months and it looks like they’ve been together forever. It’s not about the number of years you’ve been together, but rather what has happened during those years. Are you compatible? Do you have common interests? How well do you communicate with each other? Is your marriage growing? Today, we’ll consider how to communicate with your spouse.

Dana and I have been through all kinds of issues during our marriage (miscarriages, Katrina, homeschooling, money issues, etc.), but the key was we were going through it together. Not just in the same boat so to speak, but instead both rowing in the same direction. There is a big difference.

One of the best things Dana and I have done over the years has been doing marriage studies together. We spend time working on our marriage by discussing topics, learning about each other’s wants and desires, and reading about what God wants our marriage to be.

Marriage Studies

Dana and I were in a married couples small group, and we were thinking about doing a marriage study. I asked, “how many have ever done a marriage study?” No one raised their hands! I said, “no one has ever done a marriage study before?” Some of the people in that room had been married for many years. My immediate thought was, “how in the world can you have a great marriage if you are not working on it?”

Men and women are as different as the sun and the moon; we need to spend the time learning about each other. Many years ago, Dana and I did Gary Chapman’s “5 Love Languages,” and it helped with our communication process.

The 5 Love Languages are as follows:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Acts of Service
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Quality Time
  • Physical Touch

Example: If you love to give your wife gifts but she’d rather you spend time with her, you both will be frustrated as neither will get the reaction you were looking for. You need to learn how to communicate with each other. If your wife’s love language is spending time with her…SPEND TIME WITH HER! You’d be surprised how many men don’t do that in spite of knowing that’s her love language.

How to Communicate with Your Spouse

This is the time you need to prioritize your wife and listen to her input. If she is talking about wanting to lose some weight, that is a cue to set a goal to eat healthier as well. If she is showing some concern about money, maybe you suggest reading a book together or take a class about budgeting. The more you invest in your marriage, the healthier it will be. Developing a great marriage takes time and effort. You get out what you put in.

Ephesians 5:25: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.

About the author: Tj is the CEO of Studio490 Creative Services and Uncommen.

22 Comments

  1. Roby

    What if the other one is not rowing the boat and decided to have her own boat instead. And wants to paddle solo or realized she wants someone else? How do you handle that?

    Reply
    • Tj Todd

      Roby, we get this question a lot. Our two suggestions are Communicate and Change.

      Communicate: Clear, honest, Godly communication. I know that is not always possible, but it should be the goal.

      Change: While you may not be able to change her, you can change yourself. If fact, she may not be the one who needed to change. But the change should be to a point that she may pause and want to get back into your boat.

      After seeing my parents go through a divorce, I always felt their communication was horrible, bitter and full of anger. No wonder they had such a hard time getting back together. At least you can move forward knowing that you have been an example of the opportunity of reconciliation.

      Stay Uncommen Roby!

      Reply
      • Roby

        Yes we’ve talked about it over a few times and still her decisions are set. She doesn’t want to choose to love me anymore and realized that she don’t want to be married.

        And yes I’ve changed some of my ways and even did try courting her kinda like starting all over from the beginning. And I think it’s making it worse, because she’s realizing that she can’t compensate the love I’m giving or can be in the same state as me anymore.

        I just want to know what the limit is. Do I stay and still wait for nothing or let go and give what she wants.

        Reply
      • John

        Roby, I just read this and even though it’s old I have prayed for you and your marriage, are you still fighting for it?

        Reply
  2. Phillip

    Thanks for putting out great reminders for all of us, TJ!

    There’s tons of encouragement online and in the Bible for women with reluctant husbands (1 Peter 3) and Ephesians 5 speaks life for the husbands duties, but my wife and I are in somewhat reversed roles when it comes to pursuing growth in our marriage and faith.

    What would you suggest to the man who is motivated to invest in his wife and marriage but meeting opposition from his wife?

    Thanks again for all you do!

    Reply
    • Tj Todd

      Phillip, that is a great question. As men we want to “fix” everything. The problem is usually we are not being asked to fix something but rather just listen, or we try to fix what we want fixed. What is your wife’s love language? Are you communicating to her through that language?

      I would suggest doing a Marriage Study together. Maybe something centered around communication or growth. Even though we are marriage to the person we love the most, we are rarely in the same place of growth. Maybe with you both focusing on God in a study, conversations will come to the surface that you can build upon.

      Stay Uncommen Phillip

      Reply
      • Steve

        I ask my wife. Are you venting or do you want me to fix it?

        Reply
        • Tj Todd

          Steve, you’re probably smarter than 99% of the men out (including myself) by asking that question.

          Reply
        • Emanuel

          AMEN Steve. I started laughing so hard when I read this comment. I do the same thing. It really works. Lol.

          Reply
    • Phillip

      I wish I could get her to do a marriage or bible study with me. I think how we got to this place is by me working on myself and not nurturing her and our marriage enough. Good tip on the Love languages. I can always do better there!

      Reply
      • Tj Todd

        Phillip, maybe some counseling from another Christian couple would benefit you both. I know I benefit tremendously because of several Godly couples around me. I watch, I ask questions, we have dinner together as a couple just to always keep our marriage right where God wants us to be. It’s never 100% perfect, but that’s the beauty of the complete dependency upon God. Pray about this, for your wife, your marriage and for God to reveal a direction you and your wife would be willing to pursue.

        Stay Uncommen

        Reply
  3. Steve Hayes

    Guilty! I know her love language (personal touch) but can’t seem to get there! We are room mates basically, we both know we need help, I’m sure we both want it! But we are stuck! I can’t explain it ! It’s stupid! We love each other mentally but not emotionally ! We are active in church and perusing God but separately ! We were/are a blended family but the kids are grown and out of the house (empty nesters). We are left with each other, but I’m not sure we want to be together or apart. No sex, no intimacy ! No emotion! Room mates!

    Reply
    • Tj Todd

      Steve, Thank you sharing that with us.

      Sounds like you’re both pointed it same direction, you just need to reach out and take the other persons hand. Sometimes, all we need is a reassuring conversation to make our world click into place again.

      I would recommend a study like “Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti” It’s a light hearted study that has great insights on how men and women communicate. But it also talked about making time for both of you.

      Rekindle the fire by doing something different that focuses only on the both. Maybe a weekend get-away, dinner out or go for a walk in the park and hold hands the whole time. Spend time discussing that elephant in the room.

      Stay Uncommen Steve!

      Reply
    • Joshua Berghaus

      Hey Steve.

      As I was reading this blog my heart jumped out for your two. I do not know you guys but I wanted to take a moment and let you know I am for you and your wife.

      With that said, I’m sure that is a lonely feeling for both of you. If I could offer some encouragement on what I would do I would say that you may want to pray for a little while and ask God if there was a particular situation in the past that wedged a gap in your intimacy (filled schedules, emotional infidelity, selfish desires, etc.).

      Give yourself a little to hear from your Dad ya know?

      See what He reveals to you about her pain. It may be a great starting point to sit down with your wife and ask for forgiveness about anything God shows you, or just a moment to start fresh by “airing out the laundry” sort of speak and apologizing for mishandling her heart and needs.

      I want you to know I am going to pray for you, your wife, and your marriage. It’s time for the what has been stolen to be restored (reference Joel 2); seven-fold my man!

      Sincerely,
      Joshua

      Reply
      • Tj Todd

        I love that…”It’s time for the what has been stolen to be restored”

        Reply
  4. Justin

    My wife and I are going through a very hard time, she’s reading the love she wants and respect he deserves. We will be reading it together and also these books mentioned here.

    Reply
    • Tj Todd

      Justin,

      A marriage study is a great way to examine what may have changed and how you both can get that back to where it should be. Focusing on God as you do it is the best way to start. We will be praying for you and your wife.

      Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

      Justin – Stay Uncommen!

      Reply
    • Mike Hartman

      The book you are talking about is LOVE & RESPECT by Dr Emerson Eggerichs ! A great read and study tool also his book BREAKING the COMMUNICATION
      CODE.
      Men wear Blue sunglasses and Blue Hearing Aids, Women wear Pink sunglasses and Pink Hearing Aids!

      Reply
  5. Doug

    My wife and I have been married for almost 18 years now and we still struggle. It is mostly me, wanting what I want that causes trouble—we are complete opposites. It is okay to struggle in your marriage but not okay to stay in the struggle. I wish everything always went my way but it rarely does. I don’t need to overcome my wife I need to overcome myself. I am my own worst enemy, my wife is not the enemy. Maybe God has it planned that way and maybe, just maybe He wants me to be a man, sacrifice for my wife, and just be strong. Maybe.

    Reply
    • Tj Todd

      Doug,

      Thank you for sharing your situation. When there are different styles of communication going on in a marriage, there is usually struggle. Marriage is never about either one of you “getting your way”. It’s about understanding why that person is asking that. Does that request Glorify God and if one or both need to reexamine their motives.

      I’ve seen marriages of 40+ years struggle and marriages of 4 years not. It’s not about the number of year, but rather how fast both parties can learn how to communicate with their spouse. You may find that marriage study suggested in the article beneficial. You’d be surprised how many people communicate poorly and don’t even know they are doing it.

      Then there are those who communicate poorly and don’t care that they do.

      We’ll be praying for you and your wife.

      Stay Uncommen Doug

      Reply
  6. James

    I recently just got divorced. But it’s not at all what I wanted. I still love her and I want her back. She listens sometimes but gets mad others saying we do t know what the future holds she just doesn’t feel it now. She says she needs space. But I can’t give up. How do I show her the changes and give space and still remind her I love her and miss her.

    Reply
    • Tj Todd

      James, thank you for sharing your situation with us. Maybe some counseling for you and how to approach you first and how to approach you and her might be wise.

      Here are a few things we can suggest

      – Pray for wisdom (that God will change the hearts of everyone involved to put Him back at the center of your life)
      – Pray for your wife (pray for an opportunity to speak with Truth & Grace to your wife)
      – We have three devotionals on YouVersion that you may want to take
      — Surviving Divorce
      — Man in Crisis
      — Broken

      You may want to seek marriage or individual Christian counseling as you go through this. This is our counseling partner – https://www.faithfulcounseling.com/start/?gor=start&go=true

      We will be praying for you and your wife

      Stay Uncommen!

      Reply

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