“Couples Who Take Time To Talk Have Healthier Marriages” is step 1 in the series, “7 Steps To A Healthy Marriage.” In 1992, Dr. Gary Chapman introduced his enlightening and popular book, “The 5 Love Languages® – The Secret To Love That Lasts.” The website states, “The premise of The 5 Love Languages® book is quite simple: different people with different personalities give and receive love in different ways. By learning to recognize these preferences in yourself and your loved ones, you can learn to identify the root of your conflicts, connect more profoundly, and truly begin to grow closer.”
The 5 languages Dr. Chapman presents are as follows:
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Words of Affirmation
- Physical Touch
“The freedom and will to talk together about anything creates a bond strong enough to endure life’s trials.”
In the introduction to this series, I mentioned that our starting place is becoming best friends before becoming partners. Remember when you were younger and you had a best friend? You most likely spent hours talking, hanging out, and sharing secrets. There were sleepovers and maybe even shared vacations or holidays. The amount and depth of the things you shared are what made your friendship stand apart from all the others. The same thing applies to a healthy marriage. The freedom and will to talk together about anything creates a bond strong enough to endure life’s trials.
7 Steps To A Healthy Marriage Series Part 2 not only focuses on talking, but examines how couples talk together. It has long been known that communication is 1 of the most important ingredients to a healthy marriage. The website Kindsight.com discusses the various ways that we talk with our eyes as the communication of love. Most effective communicators know that a person only hears a small portion of what is spoken. As this graph shows, it’s easy to see why we should talk and listen with our whole selves. Only 7% of what we say is communicated in a typical conversation. The rest is divided between how we sound, when we talk, and what we say with our body language.
Myth or Fact: Women use 20,000 words per day and men use 7,000.
Perhaps you have heard this common idea that says women say more words than men. That isn’t necessarily true. according to this study, It has more to do with a variety of factors including personality, life situations, and whether or not a person feels safe to share, to name a few. The point is that good communication is not easy. Especially when two people are trying to develop a best friendship as we’ve been discussing.
The 7 Steps To A Healthy Marriage Pt.2 answers the question, “What are we supposed to talk about?”
When a couple first begins spending time together there seems to be plenty to talk about. As time goes on though, there can be longer periods of silence. The couple knows more about each other as time passes, so there is less background info to discuss. Another reason is that people fall into bad communication habits. Sometimes a man will wonder to himself, What are we supposed to talk about? Knowing that talking to each other is so important, Lifehack.com shares an article titled: 15 Things Happy Couples Talk About That Draw Them Closer Together.
In an earlier article, my first one in fact, I asked the question, “Is Trauma An Emotional Pandemic?”I mention it here because sometimes a victim of trauma will shut down when they are triggered by a certain topic or word. Usually, there is no way for the other person to know what happened or why the conversation went silent, even after years of marriage. It can feel personal like you did something wrong. As tempting as it may be to keep asking, calling, or messaging things like, “What’s wrong? Was it something I did or said? When can I see you again?” it’s best not to. Instead, try to be kind and calm. If possible, reassure that person that whatever they’re feeling is valid and they don’t have to talk about it. As odd as it might seem, there are times we should talk less and listen more. Getting to know each other consists of equal parts talking and listening. Doing so year after year makes a marriage better and better.