There are so many ways and so many levels and I feel like I still haven't learned exactly how to communicate to my spouse... I finally KNOW how he needs to be communicated to and what level he longs for but I am still learning how to do that.
For those of you who don't know us well we are in many ways emotionally reversed from "most" husband/wife couples... My husband is very emotional and really needs to be connected to on a deep thinking, emotional level...it's so important in fact that it's pretty much the main reason we are having issues is because of our lack of knowing how to connect ... I on the other hand am content to "know" things are fine and just talk about business, kids and day to day stuff... I say I love you all the time to my husband and of course I care if he says it to me but to me it doesn't determine if he does love me. We are still working on those deeper conversations and I must admit most of them just aren't a lot of fun and involve many tears, but we are chiseling away the rock and digging down deep to where he longs to go and where we NEED to go...
Sex is another area that I feel is an area of communication...I also am very "guy-like there as well... I am ready anytime, anywhere...no song and dance needed...let's just do it... My husband on the other hand needs great conversation, perhaps a back rub and to feel that connection or it just ain't happening... I have finally realized my views on the sexual communication and also how to change them from a selfish action of "you owe me" to an expression of love for my husband. It changes things completely... Because before I would do a lot of things and then expect sex in return... much like I think many men fall into the trap as well of flowers, gifts and being nice just to get sex... and the nasty cycle continues with the wife (or in my case husband) merely feeling used and like sex is a chore... how sad that I wasted 8 years of marriage in this never-ending cycle of struggle...But it's not too late... change is happening!
I received a message from someone today asking about this very subject and I felt really humbled that she was asking and a little afraid as well... I obviously haven't had the greatest marriage... I was living in indifference coasting along thinking things were "ok" so why bother working on it...WRONG WRONG WRONG!
So here is her letter and my response... (names have been changed except mine and Aaron's)
The book we are referring to is "Created to Be His Help Meet" by Debi Pearl
Hope you are doing good. I am holding tight! I read your conference blog, it was great! Thank you for sharing your weekend with me.
I have a question for you. My BIGGEST and I mean BIGGEST downfall for me and Tom as well is communication. I am totally and completely driven by fear of sharing my thoughts and feelings. I have to be careful as is, to not be critical... treat him like a child or really say what I think because we both know how that won't help change the situation.
Alcoholism is touchy enough! I'm a bit stuck and if you are willing to give me some input on how you and Aaron are setting up your ways to talk, I'd really appreciate it. I'm scared to ask for a meeting although I know I have to... I can never say anything when alcohol is in the house because it always goes south...and just our track record is horrible. You just can't reason with an alcoholic. Is Aaron reaching out to you for talks or how do you guys sit down and have those heart to hearts? Tom is like a brick wall and we are completely separated on this issue. He won't initiate it and I get tired of being the bearer of bad news if you will and then I just blow it off.
I have a lot on my plate to discuss with Tom but its going to take time I know and to do it in a loving and non-judgmental way will be hard. I obviously need the Lord to guide me there.
Any tips you might have would be great.
So far I love the book but I'm only 3 chapters in. I don't get personal time to read it and Tom sometimes mocks or judges me for my choices so I do it in private time but I don't get private time. The biggest part that has stuck out for me is the part where when we feel sorry for ourselves and we ask God "why" he didn't spare our pain. God didn't spare himself pain when he sent Jesus to the cross so why wouldn't he allow us to experience the same ... WHOA!
Tom finally discovered the book and looked at it. He won't tell me his thoughts but tests me with "well what is this?" but he's aware of it so I'm going to try to talk to him about my boundaries. I need to learn the discipline of my "do diligence"
I guess right now for me since reading the book I just try to apply the truth to me and eventually my changes made him curious and that opened up talking. I guess the biggest thing is they totally expect us to be angry, hostile and reactionary and when we aren't NO MATTER WHAT then it slowly opens things up so they don't fear our replies. It's about total acceptance and non judgmental and unconditional love even if we totally disagree with their choices. Also we have been going out more together and sometimes being in a public place helps because then no one can blow up. I am praying for you both. But trust me you apply the changes to your heart and his stuff will come. It's going to take a ton of time in both your marriage and mine. Just pray for your pain to glorify God and someday be an encouragement and help to others regardless of the outcome... Get up and live tomorrow...
If any of you have some godly input on this for Sarah please feel free to comment =)