Two Phrases Every Married Couple Need to Say More Often
Posted on March 25 2020
Without a doubt, marriage is an exercise in communication. After being married for almost 12 years, and together for 16 years total, my husband and I have had probably thousands of conversations. And no matter the topic of conversation, they all matter.
When first dating, communication can be rather easy. It’s how you get to know each other, and everything is new and interesting. Our conversations then would last all night and flow effortlessly.
Fast forward to getting married, and things change a bit. The conversations get a little more “real” and complicated. There are other people now involved in your relationship and there’s more to consider. You also get a crash course in how your significant other’s family relationship and styles of communication work and have to adapt to the changes. Big decisions are being made, big moves, big change. As the stress level rises, the ease of communication suffers a bit. Still, you make it through, learn and grow and walk down the aisle together.
Enter children, a whole new stress on communication. Now, you have to learn how to quickly and efficiently communicate, it’s go time! You go from loving and focusing on one another to falling in love with the new human you both have created together, now you must agree on more than you ever have to parent effectively, together. These conversations can get tough.
Marriage, when you stick with it, can constantly push both partners to grow and change and improve. When you have high expectations for each other and strong beliefs, sometimes you can butt heads. Conversations about changes that need to be made by one person or the other are difficult but possible. These are two phrases, when said honestly, that are powerful when difficult conversations arise.
First, let’s discuss “I’m sorry”. Now, as a woman, I felt like I was trained to always say “I’m sorry”. I said it all the time! Too much actually. On the other hand, my husband’s “training” led him to rarely say sorry. To me, “I’m sorry” was easy to say, it was almost expected. To him, “I’m Sorry” was a sign of defeat. We found this out about each other by communicating purely about our needs during tough conversations or disagreements. “I’m Sorry” is a powerful phrase and one that is necessary in a marriage because it puts your emotions in check. If you know that the other person cares about you enough to acknowledge that they have hurt your feelings in some way, whether intentionally or not, then you are that much more open to communication efforts. If you aren’t saying sorry enough you are holding your relationship back. It isn’t weak to say I am sorry, it actually shows great strength and caring.
Next, let’s delve into “You’re Right”. I probably chose to discuss “I’m Sorry” first because it’s my favorite. You’re Right, on the other hand, is my husband’s favorite. Those are the words he is craving to hear when we disagree. For a long time, I didn’t see it as necessary to say. I think the reason you get into an argument in the first place is because you think you are right and that the other person is wrong. It’s very important to my husband to be right. And, while no one is ever right all the time, sometimes they are. Sometimes they are right and you don’t want to admit they are right because in doing so, you are admitting you are wrong and lost. Not giving in, admitting defeat, and celebrating their victory with them can keep both parties feeling disconnected. When you disagree about something, instead of digging your heels in and staying on opposite sides, compromise more. Don’t lie to just end the argument, instead push yourselves to see the other persons’ viewpoint more deeply. And if they are right, make sure to tell them.
With a little practice these phrases get easier and easier to say, and arguments become less and less frequent until a new more respectful and loving type of communication takes it’s place. The longer you are married, the more you can learn to communicate and face challenges better together. No marriage or relationship is ever perfect, nothing is. But as a wise person once shared with me…If each person in the marriage is more worried about their partners happiness that their own, it cannot fail. Freeing up yourselves from ego-driven interactions will allow you to be better partners in life.
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