I'd like to give you a view of communication that isn't repressing feelings but also isn't open with all of them, at least not all at once. And when you are open slowly, you are in a way that encourages the good rather than discouraging everything.
I think in our fast-paced society nowadays, we feel this inappropriate pressure to share all the feelings we have about a topic (sex is a big one!) with our spouse because we need to get that checked off of our mental burden list. Or we need to finally unload or get it off our chest.
So we pile on all these painful complaints, criticisms, and unacknowledged feelings all at once.
And it causes huge divisions between partners and can take years to heal, if at all.
My encouragement in today's podcast is to think of your relationship not as a 30-minute conversation but as a 90-year conversation. There is no need to address everything right now.
There is a need to be respectful, kind, gentle, grateful, and loving in all your communication with your spouse. When that is your "normal," then there is an opportunity to strategically place encouragements towards a general movement in a direction that is important to you.
"But that could take months, even years." Luckily, you have that. And you are strong enough to shift things slowly but surely in the right direction. The shocking thing is if you are disciplined and you are careful, it may take way less time than you think.
One important piece is you can make yourself happy during that time and happier as you wisely encourage and compliment in the direction you desire. (More on that in the podcast).
This is giving the truth in love. We don't need to rhetorically cut each other because we're lazy or we're "good at fighting." We can be gentle, humble, meek, self-disciplined, and patient with the truth--even in response to our partner's accusations.
This way is harder and requires Jesus' strength and character, but it will actually move you farther faster. The other can set you back for years to come and may undermine the very thing you're trying to improve.
I hope you'll listen to this podcast with an ear for what Jesus wants for your marriage and interactions in it.
PS If you haven't yet rated and reviewed the podcast, I'd love to receive a screenshot and give you a $97-value training for men--for free!
Send me a screenshot of your review to belah at delightyourmarriage.com
If you're not sure how to do that and you listen vai iTunes, you can find out how at delightyourmarriage.com/itunes