A while ago, I found this post titled The 5 Things that Happily Married Couples Don't Do. It was a great post, but one of the things on the list stuck out to me more than the rest. It was that happily married couples don't hide things from each other. "Happily married couples know that it's better to have a difficult conversation about negative spending, eating or personal habits than it is to lie or try to conceal. A strong marriage can work through problems, but only if both parties know about them."
Yesterday I shared a post on the importance of and tips for creating good, quality conversation in your marriage. Chances are, if you aren't incorporating quality conversation into your marriage, you aren't taking the time to talk about those "secret" things that have the potential to become an issue. Having serious, quality talks with each other not only strengthens your marriage, but helps eliminate resentment, frustration and confusion that might occur because of the topics that might not come up in your every day conversation or that you may be nervous to talk about.
When I was asked what advice I would give to a couple getting married earlier this summer. I said that they should talk about everything! I was listening to a podcast yesterday and something they said really stuck with me. I learned that money and intimacy are the least discussed subjects in a marriage, the most common reasons for divorce and the most discussed subjects in the courtroom after divorce. When you vow to share your life with someone, you need to be willing to share your deepest thoughts and secrets with them as well. The more you talk about something and discuss it, the more comfortable it will become and you'll understand each other better. You don't have to agree on everything, but you need to be willing to discuss things, come to an agreement and make every effort to understand where your spouse is coming from. The more you talk about something, the less likely it is to cause problems later on.
Make a promise to each other that your quality conversation time will be a safe place to talk about anything that might be bugging you. Be open to what your spouse has to say and don't shut them down without hearing them out. Talk about things in your marriage now so that you don't have to have discussions in a courtroom later on.
My Challenge to You: Think about those topics that you're nervous to discuss with your spouse and make a goal to approach one of them this week in quality conversation.
How do you keep the lines of communication open in your marriage?