Each week, set aside an hour or so to "check in" with your spouse-not for the business of running your home, but to find out what the other person is thinking and feeling. The benefits of a regular checking-in routine can't be overestimated. For one thing, you have the opportunity to help your spouse sort through concerns that may be difficult to put into words. Walking together through this process creates trust and closeness. When a couple makes this a reglar habit, their bond is virtually unbreakable-and their marriage immensely satisfying. For these conversations to be productive, keep the following in mind:
- Timing is important. Pick a time when you are not rushed or exhausted.
- Minimize distractions. TV off, phones out of reach, kids to bed or engaged elsewhere.
- Keep communication flowing with open-ended questions. "What do you think about..."
- Don't be discouraged. Interruptions may happen. Disagreements may be provoked. Regroup and try again later.
- Husbands, you don't have to "fix" something that's bothering your wife.
- Wives, it's okay to let your husband know if your looking for a solution or just a listening ear.
Focus on the Family, Dec. 2010 Bulletin (Paul & Teri Reisser)