Talking is just words. Communication can also be words, but it’s not limited to that. In addition, communication is gestures, body language, reactions and whatever else you can think of to get your point across.
For example, if you are mad and you tell your husband that you are not, all you did was speak. But then, you proceed to slam doors, ignore him calling you from downstairs or burn his food, accidentally or intentionally, then my dear, you are communicating. In a case like this, your words should be ignored, it’s all about what you are showing (i.e. communicating).
Communication is so powerful, that at times, it can make talking totally unnecessary. Think about it, animals and babies don’t possess the skills to use words, but they can communicate just fine. I know my kid would scream, make gestures or fill up a diaper to get his points across and I understood loud and clear, every time.
Throughout my life, I have seen countless examples on how prominent communication differs from just talking. In many instances, I learned more about people and their motives through what they have communicated and not from all the words spewing out of their mouth. That’s why after careful consideration, I came to the conclusion that communication is WAY more fascinating and powerful than talking.
I’ll admit when I first got married, I never anticipated I would sometimes do more communicating than I did talking. Yet as my marriage got older (forcefully bringing me to age with it) I realized that I didn’t always want to talk about things and neither did he. After a long day of work, we just wanted to sit quietly and sometimes not be bothered. This is fine when nothing is wrong, but a problem when things need to be discussed.
It was during one of these moods that I chose to communicate. He said something to me that rubbed me the wrong way. I had already endured a bad day at work and I was extra sensitive and on edge. When he asked me what was wrong, my response was to yell “Nothing genius, I’m just fine!” and walk away. It wasn’t really anything he’d done that had me upset and annoyed, but he was sure getting the heat waves of the issue and you know why? Because hurt people, hurt people. Especially in their marriage and some days communicating that hurt is what we do best. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fine to show him you are pissed if you really are, but if everything is great and you are acting like it isn’t, that could mean trouble.
So, am I asking you to communicate less and start talking more? NO, not at all. Communication and talking works hand-in-hand. I’m just making sure you understand that there is a difference between the two, so that you don’t unintentionally communicate something you didn’t mean. Arguments and crushed feelings often originate from what we communicate to one another, so don’t let your relationship suffer any damages due to weak communication skills.
I know you have always heard the saying “the key to a lasting marriage is good communication” and there’s a reason for that. Poor communication can destroy things and so many people get it wrong without having realized that they were even messing up! Not to mention, proper communication is one crucial component to the development of your marriage, while a close second is understanding who you are communicating with.
What type of man is your husband? How can you tell when he is angry? Irritated? Upset? Calm? Does he get angry quickly? Hold on to little things? Like praise all the time? Shy away from it? Refuses to speak to you when upset? Would rather spend time out with his friends? Likes to talk things out? Gets extremely quiet? Has trouble finding the right words to say? Does he notice when you are mad? Notices, but ignores you? Or is he just genuinely oblivious? Maybe he is the type that doesn’t read body language well on people? Or he reads it too well and tries to avoid it?
These questions are child’s play compared to the in-depth level of awareness you need to have to understand each other. Oddly enough, the insight could teach you both about habits, flaws and tics that you didn’t even know you had. Maybe when mad, you bite your lip or shake your leg. And when happy, you grin and rub your hands together. There could be all these little things you automatically do, and have never noticed them until someone points it out.
That’s why I’m stressing to you, proper communication, is a must! Take pride and initiative in mastering one another’s behaviors, dislikes, likes, and shortcomings. If you don’t know things like this about your mate, it can make you miss some very valuable communication signals in your marriage. What if you guys are growing apart? You know that happens right? Most marriages don’t just fall apart in an instant. It’s usually a slow progression to their demise. People hold in things and little by little, it adds up. We assume things will be ok and forget that a whole bunch of pennies is what makes a dollar. People don’t properly communicate with each other and the relationship starts to fade.
You should check in with each other from time to time to make sure things are good. Ask questions such as… are you still happy in this marriage? Do you feel like I am still what you want and expect me to be? Do you find sometimes you would rather be with someone else? Are you bored with our marriage? Do you have any ideas or things you’ve been wanting to try? Is there anything I can do that I currently don’t?
Trust me, it’s a good idea to continuously make certain that you are on the same page. As we grow we undoubtedly change. For some, it is subtle, but for others, it’s much more candid. No one simply stays the same over their entire lifetime. However, when you’re married, you must ensure that your growth is happening simultaneously.
So you get it, right? If you want your marriage to soar, you must ensure it’s strong enough to fly. By the way, I think people are sometimes slow, so I’ll point out that being the KEY to a marriage does not mean communication can SAVE a marriage. You could successfully communicate that you hate each other and that means you have some serious talking to do. Communication is powerful enough that it can strengthen/destroy a marriage, so just be aware. It’s WHAT is being communicated that determines the course. Therefore, be mindful of what you say, and oddly enough… just as mindful of what you don’t.