Paving the Path to Better Communication

Posted by  | Friday, June 18, 2010  at 10:52 AM  
I wanted to share a few ideas that have helped create better communication in our home between myself and my husband Ed. We have seen our relationship grow as we put these ideas into consistent practice.

#1 - Weekly Meeting. Once a week, usually on Sunday, Ed and I sit down for a little meeting. We get our calendars out and discuss what's on the schedule for that week. And then we have a review of our monthly cash finances. We also talk about any upcoming projects we'd like to work on and how we're going to make that happen. This is a business-style meeting that really helps us get on the same page as far as schedules and money go. It has really helped us to get along better throughout the week. We know what needs to be accomplished and how we need to spend/save our money.

#2 - A cash budget. I talked about this when we talked about monthly budgets. I get $500 each month to spend on groceries, clothing, entertainment, etc. This has really helped our communication as husband and wife. Before, Ed would look at the bank statements/credit card statements and say things like "what did you spend $50 on at Target?" That would drive me crazy and instantly put me on the defensive. Now I can show Ed that I still have X amount of money left for the month and he can tell me he's proud of me for the way I'm managing the funds. It's much better!

#3 - Date Night. We don't live by any relatives and can't afford to pay a babysitter to watch our kids. So we didn't really "date" much once Joel came along (we could date a little more when we just had Samuel and were living at Seminary with lots of helpful friends/neighbors). Over the past year we've become good friends with another family at church who find themselves in a similar situation - they don't have any family close by and can't afford a sitter. We decided to do a date night swap. Every Sunday night we swap sitting. We drop our kids off at their house at 5:00pm. They are responsible for feeding the kids dinner, playing with them, and getting their pajamas on. Then we pick them up at 8:00pm, take them home and put them to bed. We get to have the hours of 5-8 to ourselves and then we can still enjoy time together at home with the kids in bed. We love both sides of this solution. It's fun to have our date night and it's actually enjoyable when their kids come to our house. All four kids think it's such a great treat to spend every Sunday evening together.

#4 - Sex. Plain and simple, ladies. Having consistent, quality sex with my husband greatly increases the communication in our relationship. This comes straight from the horse's mouth. :) I told Ed the topic of the week and he asked straight away if I was going to mention sex. When I said yes, he said to make sure I emphasis not only the quantity of sex but the quality of sex. It's important not to just do it consistently but to have it actually be enjoyable. I know sometimes sex can seem like another thing on my daily checklist, but it's important for me to "get my head in the game" and make it enjoyable for him and for me.

#5 - Humility. This is probably the key one for me. I hope that all of the above are helpful ideas, and I can attest that they have worked for us. But I must say that being honest with myself and God that more often than not my tendency to be selfish, put myself first, and get upset when Ed doesn't feel the same are the main challenges to our communicating as a couple. I like to have my way. I expect him to want what I want all the time. I get upset easily when I feel like he isn't understanding me or doing what I want. And I have to constantly put myself before God and admit my selfish attitude. When I admit that I'm not naturally altruistic or naturally inclined to put my husband first it makes it easier to ask God to help me do that. And it really does help.

So good luck this week bettering your communication with your husbands ladies. And if it involves #4, tell your husband he has Ed Payne to thank. Ha, ha!


Karla said...

Wow Leah,

Great post! I love your ideas and are very helpful. Will implement some at home. Thanks! Hugs to you and your fam. I hope you are all well. ~Karla

Dan and Rachael said...

What an excellent post, Leah! Thanks so much for the encouragement.

Amy said...

Great post! Thanks for taking the time to write that.

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