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When we were married we had no idea how quickly our selfishness would seek to assert itself. When this started to happen it was easy to think we might have chosen the wrong person, or that we should have stayed single. Our marriage put a huge mirror in front of each of us and then proceeded to reflect back all our character flaws. As this reality became highlighted in our marriage it brought with it a lot of conflict.
Often in those early days we had to look back on our story and realize we had been brought together for a reason and be reminded that we were actually really good for each other! This dynamic showed us then, and continues to do so, the power of communication. We had heard about the importance of communication from a variety of sources but the truth of it becomes more real to us everyday. As we talk through the tough stuff and learn to conflict, we bring out the best in the other, and it keeps us from focusing on the negatives. As we communicate we continue to learn each other; because of that learning we conflict better; as we work through conflict we build intimacy; as we build intimacy we build trust; as we build trust we open our hearts
and let each other in.
The positive spin offs of good communication are endless. One of the biggest payoffs from effective communication we have found is learning how your spouse receives love. If you don’t communicate well, or often with your spouse, it’s hard to know how they like to be loved and that puts you at a serious deficit. Your attempts at showing affection
may not be received as such and that is disillusioning. We have been trying to make it a habit to jump at opportunities to invest in our marriage by attending enrichment courses, taking time away — anything that challenges us to invest in our marriage — especially our communication!
“When you see the problems in each other, do you just want to run away, or do you find a desire to work on them together? If the second impulse is yours, then you have the makings of a marriage.”
*Timothy Keller – The Meaning of Marriage*