Pay attention to your spouse’s actions and conversation. When your spouse is trying to tell you something, listen to them. It’s easy to be distracted by your own thoughts. Much of the time people are already formulating a response before they’ve heard the other person’s completed thought. Be ready to restate your spouse’s thoughts back to them to make sure that you understand exactly what they are trying to tell you, and then put your thoughts together on how to respond.
Say what you mean. Think about what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. After you really understand what your spouse is saying, carefully put your words together in response. Many times our mouths just open and stuff flies out that is more emotion that thought process. Those kinds of words are more destructive than helpful. They might be what you feel, but really aren’t what you truly think.
Actions speak very loudly. Let your words and actions match. Words are easy to speak, but their meaning is proved by actions. Marriage is a crucial relationship. In relating to your spouse, be true to your word. If you are speaking love, then back it up with care and concern. Many times actions without words can communicate volumes. If my wife takes my hand or puts her arm under mine, I think in my mind, “I’m special to her.” To me that’s worth a thousand words.
If you don’t have a handle on these three skills your marriage experience will go up and down like a yo-yo. Getting a handle on these skills will bring your marriage to a place where there is understanding, affection and unity. It does not mean that problems or misunderstandings will never happen. These skills are the tools that you need to overcome difficulties as they arise and to avoid some of them before they happen.