George Bernard Shaw once said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
To strengthen your marriage you have to learn to communicate well. We know it goes without saying, but all-too-often we think we're saying one thing but our spouse hears something completely different.
What do we do in those situations? How can we learn to communicate in a way where we stay on the same page?
That's what we'll tackle in this episode. We'll talk about how good communication is about giving AND receiving. And when you learn to do both of those well, you'll be well on your way to a strong relationship.
We'll also share a five-step method we discovered to keep us out of the "misunderstood" zone. We call it our LEARN method, and it will help you strengthen your ability to communicate clearly and effectively.
Our good friend, Jon Gordon, says, "In the absence of communication negativity fills the void." That's more true in marriage than in any other relationship. But it doesn't have to be that way. So dive in and let's make sure that never happens to any of us!
If you'd like to listen to past episodes, click HERE.
COMMUNICATION IN MARRIAGE
By Jason & Tori Benham
So we're talking communication today and I have a five step communication method. That's really gonna help you. Did you know that it's gonna help you too tour? I know I'm really excited about it. Are you really? Mm-hmm? promise before we start, let's do a quick joke. Just one or maybe two. Okay. what's the most effective way to remember your wife's birthday?
Uh, I have no idea. Forget it once. Oh, that will do it. There you go. okay. Um, the doc, so doctor relax, David. It's just a small surgery. Don't panic me, but my name isn't David doctor. I know I'm David. Yeah. I feel like having a doctor. I do like that talking to themselves. Hey, I actually have one. Okay. What do you tell a spouse with two black eyes?
Oh, gosh, I know this one. Nothing you done told them twice. Geez. There you go. How you like that? I hate it. Not good. okay. All right. Well good. You hate our jokes and although your joke was really good, this, this, this morning or this afternoon, I don't know where we are, but I do wanna talk communication.
Okay. Let me start with this quote. And I got this from my good buddy, John, and he said this in the absence of communication. negativity always fills the void. Mm. Yeah. That's so true. Isn't it? Mm-hmm in the absence of communication. Negativity always fills the void. A lot of assuming. Yeah. Like, yeah. I told her I loved her and if I change my mind, I'll let her know.
No, doesn't work that way. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Yeah. That's why Jesus us. And I'm gonna be doing a. Bible study on this tomorrow. But Jesus even told his disciples when they came up to a demon possessed man, and they couldn't cast the demon out, but they were able to cast others and he says, this kind, which means this one's been in here a while.
This kind can only come out by prayer. Hmm. And, and then some, some manuscripts say prayer and fasting. Right. But prayer, this kind can only come out by your communication with God. Right. At a level where you know him so well that his presence is really powerful in your life. Yeah. That's so good. Wow. It's communication.
So it's like, you've got to communicate. Mm-hmm this is something men need. So wives, if you're listening to this, press pause, tell your husband and get his butt in here and start listening. And I'll start with a quote from an another dude. George Bernard Shaw. He said this George Bernard haw said the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it's taken place.
Oh, wow. Yeah. Which means that you've got to overcommunicate. You can't just assume things. You got to communicate and good communication. It's about two things. , I'm not gonna make you guess what it's about to cuz you know, I'm sitting here doing this and I talk a lot about communication and business and I talk a lot about communication and relationships and I've got all these notes right here, but I'm not letting Tory look at 'em so she doesn't know where I'm going or what I'm doing.
You know what people are thinking right now. Get to your point, get to your point. Okay. Yeah. You're exactly right. thank you. Okay. Good communication is two things. Giving and receiving mm-hmm, giving and receiving in communication. I give of myself. Yep. And I'm also receiving the person that I'm listening to.
Hmm. So it's got to be two ways and, and honestly, this is how affairs start. Yeah. Where you're giving too much of yourself to that person. Now I'm not talking about trans actions. I'm talking about emotion, right. You know, it's the, the telltale, you know, uh, husband leaves his wife for the secretary or whatever.
Well, at some point he started communicating with her about things he shouldn't be communicating with. Right? Like dreams, desires, hopes, passions, like whatever. It's just given a or too much of yourself. Right. And then she receives that and she's receiving it and it feels good to communicate to somebody who understands you.
Mm. And now knows you. Right? Right. Because intimacy is to be fully known and fully accepted. Wow. Now we're gonna talk about that in another podcast called accepting your spouse. So I want you to pay attention for that podcast when it comes out, but to be fully known means you gotta communicate. You have to communicate.
So. I have a very simple method. That's gonna help you with that. And through the years of trying to help people communicate, not that I've always been a good communicator, cuz oftentimes when things don't go well or whatever, I like to crawl into my little shell. Mm-hmm cave, whatever you wanna call it.
And then Tory has to kind of come. Pull me out. She knows my love language, physical touch. All she's gotta do is come put her arm around me or whatever. Pet your head, a little pet my head like a little Labrador retriever. what's your what's Tori. What's your love language. Tell everybody quality time.
Quality time. Mm-hmm so all I gotta do is spend time with, to yep. We should talk about love languages at some point, because I really do believe first in top, top five marriage books of all time. I think it's the best selling marriage book of all time as the five love languages by Gary Chapman. Mm. So good.
It is really good to know your five love languages, uh, acts of service, physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time and gifts, right? And your love language is one of those five. Um, mine would be physical touch, then close words of affirmation to quality time. But here's, what's crazy when you seek to meet the, uh, love language and speak the love language of your spouse, cuz that's communication cuz not all communication is.
Is verbal, verbal. Right? Right. Um, and that's what the love language is all about, is how to say, I love you to your spouse without using the words. Mm. So you gotta speak their love, language, that's communication. Um, the more you try to speak the love language of your spouse, even if it's not yours. God rewards that, that he begins to change your love language easy.
Yeah. And well, we've seen that in, in our relationship for sure. Yeah. You used to be you, your two love languages. Your two top were access service and physical touch in mine were, um, words of affirmation. Quality time. Yeah. And now years are a quality time. It's changed. Oh, well, Fri school touch of words of affirmation are still definitely huge.
And I still like acts of service, but quality time, like I, I, as I began to meet that, that need in Tory and communicate my love to her through quality time, I began to find myself craving quality time, which was very opposite of my nature. Right. And because your love language is access service. You did a lot of things yeah.
In the house. And now that's totally my love language. Yeah. More so than it ever was. Yeah. Just because I know that that's your way of communicating love to me because that's how you receive love. Um, so let's talk about the five step communication that I've got. Okay. And I've got at this little acrostic learn L E a R N learn.
Uh, so the L is, listen, Step one. Yep. If you're gonna communicate, you gotta listen. I like that. That's first listen. Yeah. So all of us guys are out there saying, yeah, we need to listen. And I would say, yeah, let your wife speak first. Aw, listen, let her speak first. Um, seek to understand before trying to be understood.
Yeah, that's huge. Yeah, it is huge. Cause if you really are seeking to understand, then. You're not gonna be thinking about what you're gonna say next mm-hmm, , you're actually engaged in what they're saying. Right. And, and, and a great rule of thumb, especially for guys listen longer than you think you need to.
Cause what's really hard for dudes is they're they're gonna want to fix it. Cause we're fixers by nature. Mm-hmm we've I've said this a lot. Uh, women are sensors by nature. Men are solvers, right? And so sometimes. When the guy is talking and the woman is sensing something, just hold it. Yeah. Just wait.
Don't tell him what you're sensing yet. And when a woman is talking. And the guy knows how to solve it. Just wait. Yes, it is. It's so our nature to like, process, like what we're sensing verbally, and we need somebody to do that with like, we need, we're just sensing something. We don't necessarily know exactly what we're sensing, but we're sensing something and we're trying to work through it and process through it verbally.
Yeah. And if you're trying to fix that, you might actually be fixing something that. That me fixed by the end of the conversation, I've already like I'm done. And I, I talked it out and realized that's actually not the thing after all. yes. And, but that happens a lot. It's like, wait a minute. Just don't just, just hear me out.
Let me just keep going. And then, and then at the end of the conversation, it's like, I think it's really important to say to the other one now, what am I not seeing? Cause I actually do want to arrive at truth with this situation and women, if you want your husbands to listen to you, give him a chance to help you solve it at the end.
Hmm don't I mean, granted, there are times where it's like, okay, give, give him a heads. And let him know. I don't need you to solve anything. I don't need you to fix anything. I just need you to listen. So give him that heads up, cuz your men are fixers and solvers by nature. And if you don't give him the heads up to let him know, I don't need you to fix this.
He's gonna go according to his nature. That's like our dog Rocky, his nature is he's gonna eat whatever you give him. And if you're sitting there at counter making something, he's sitting right by your. Legs waiting. And, and I'm a terrible dog owner. I do give him a little bit of food. Mm-hmm um, cuz he's got dog nature in him, right?
Your husband's got the same nature. So you've got to know his desire to fix it is actually a good desire. Hmm. If I'm going, uh, if I'm gonna go to my buddy, Tim Harrell, and I'm gonna talk with him about something, I'm not going to Tim, him to talking about something just so he can listen, I'm going to Tim so he can help me fix it.
Right. Right. And if Tim doesn't help me fix it, then I don't receive that as like he's not my buddy. so guys are the same way with their wives. You're bringing me this because you need me to fix it. Right. And the way that I say, I love you is fixing it. Right. And I promise you I can help solve this problem.
Right. But if that's not what you need, give us the heads up first. We need coaching. Mm-hmm men need coaching and communication. And so wives don't get frustrated at 'em just coach 'em. I just need you to listen men on the other hand, wait, and do exactly what Tori said. She's sensing something, she's gonna talk through it and she might solve it herself.
Let her mm-hmm don't jump in and just try to solve it. Yeah. And then women, uh, if, if you do need something solved, then coach 'em through it and say, okay, I I'm gonna, I want you to help me figure this out, but can you let me talk it out first? Yeah, exactly. And at the end we can figure it out. And your husband you've now given him proper boundaries and he'll be like, all right.
I got this mm-hmm and he is going to listen intently because you've given him a problem to solve. It's really, really powerful to do that. So when we're talking about listening, that's the first step in our five step process. Listen. Yep. Listen. Okay. That's the L in the learn method, L E a R N. Okay. Listen, step number two, empathize.
Hmm. Empathize. This is where you get into their world and you try to feel what they feel. Yes. That's so good. Like you can really do that. It's that human nature. If, if the, what you're talking about ha has something to do with you. You want to defend yourself. You want to make sure you wanna be understood.
Yeah. Right. But empathy is putting yourself into the other person's shoes. Yeah. What do you feel? I wanna understand how you're feeling. Yeah. And that is so important because it's it's so like what you said earlier, seek to understand before being understood. Yeah. And when somebody not human nature. Yeah.
And when somebody fully understands you, you feel connected. Yes. If you're telling someone a problem and they're like, I totally get that. I would hate to be in those shoes. Wow. That stinks. Yeah. You feel connected to that person. Yeah. That's why it's important to not talk. Too openly with certain folks that, that, you know, they're gonna empathize with you and all this.
And next thing you know, you're having feelings for someone you shouldn't be having feelings for. Mm-hmm . And I, I know for me personally, and I, I know you as a fixer have felt this before, is there is such a tendency to wanna be the devil's advocate. Yeah. Like, I need to take the other side because help balance it out to help B bring balance.
Yeah. But a lot of times when we do that, we don't show the other person that we're on their side like that we're trying to understand their perspective first, but because we're so, or, you know, for me personally, I'm like, wait, you're outta balance, cuz you're not seeing. The whole picture, but because I'm, you know, standing back a little further, I can see the whole picture.
And so I feel this really strong need to yeah. Make sure I tell, but it's like, I really have to, I have to do this with the kids all the time. Yeah. I'm terrible at it. It's like, I just want to make sure that they see the other side. Yeah. But I really have to do a better job of, of listening and trying to understand ex exactly what they're trying to communicate.
Yeah. And then, you know, after that, after taking that in. Then you start to build this trust that, that you're on, you know, you're for them that you wanna help them and that you totally can understand why they would feel that way. You would feel that way. You've felt that way before. That's how you show empathy.
Oh my goodness. I totally can relate. I know exactly what you're feeling. Yeah, that's awful. Right. But, and it's, then you're building the trust to at some point, and maybe not even in that conversation, but in another conversation to say, you know what I was thinking, I wonder if you know, you. If there's this perspective that we can think about too.
Yeah. And you just gotta remember the goal of communication is not to make a point when it comes to communication and marriage, the goal of communication is connection. You are there to connect and that's an important thing to remember. The empathy is the thing that will draw that connection. So then once you've listened and you're empathizing, okay.
At the same time, we're moving on the step three. Is ask questions. Hmm. You need to clarify to make sure you understand. and the best question to ask is what do you need? Hmm. That's what you can ask right from the jump. Now, if you've been married almost 21 years, like us, then you might not need to ask that question up front.
Like, I've kind of, I kind of know what Tori needs when she starts talking. What she needs me to do is shut up and just let her talk. But there does come a time. It's like, okay, so what can I, I do, like, what do you need? Mm-hmm right now, what do you need? And it's asking questions. Yeah. And if you're truly interested in what they're saying, like.
And you're not thinking about the next thing you wanna say, and you're empathizing and you're really listening. You're gonna have plenty of questions. And even if you just ask yourself that question, what do they need right now, if you just pause long enough to say. What do, what does Jason need? What am I hearing him say?
What is he, what, what is he really needing? Cause it's not like I know for us, it's not like, I'm really gonna say so what do you need? It's it's it really is a more of a discerning. Okay. Given the information that I have right now. What does Jason need most? Yeah. Yeah. That's good. I like that. So that, that's the first three steps you're listening.
You're empathizing, you're asking questions. You're either asking questions of your spouse or you're, which would be clarifying questions or you're doing what Tori just said where you're asking questions to yourself saying, uh, like what, what do they need? Yep. Which is really good. Okay. Well that, that leaves us to the fourth step in the learn method.
L E a R R that's responsibility. Mm. So you take responsibility. You know, there's two types of people in the world. Yep. Uh, those who own their part of a problem and those who don't, those who take responsibility and those who don't and modern psychiatry knows calls the people who don't take responsibility as people who have a character disorder.
Yep. So it's taking responsibility because oftentimes our communication is about out something that happened, right. and you've gotta take responsibility. So when it comes to conflict and now we gotta communicate about that. One of the first things that you do is you gotta own up to your spot. Yeah. Even if you think that you're 100% accurate, then get alone with God and ask him, how could you have helped avoid this?
Hmm. It's taking responsibility. And also in communication, it's taking responsibility for the fact that you need to communicate. Or taking the responsibility to forgive. Yeah. Your spouse is coming to you. And, and asking for forgiveness for something. Yeah. You have responsibility to forgive. Yes. And it's, it's being responsible all the way around all 360 degrees.
So if it's a forgiveness issue, take responsibility and own it. If it's, you haven't talked in a while, take responsibility and own it. If it's something you've said or done take responsibility for your part in the problem 'em mm. But if you want truly good communication, then you better start taking responsibility of it.
Mm. And the fifth step in. Never undervalue what the other person says. That's good. Never, never undervalue it. And I am bad with this because I'm very sarcastic. So Tori can be pouring her heart out or whatever. And I might bust on something that she said mm-hmm and what I've done is I've undervalued what she said in that moment.
Yeah. You know, she may be talking of about like here I am at, at, at my office and. I just closed a big deal and made some good money or whatever. And, and it was great. And it's like this big thing. And then I'm coming home and she's upset because Allie, um, opened the box of Mac and cheese and all the noodles went out on the ground, you know, and, and she's talking.
And if in that moment I undervalue that situation because it's just Mac and cheese on the ground. You could just sweep it up. I mean, you could have just sweeped it up. Mm-hmm if the minute you do that, communication stops. Yep. Connection stops and that can't happen. You just can't do it. So never undervalue.
I like that. So it's very helpful. L E a R N listen, listen, empathize, empathize, ask questions. Take responsibility and never undervalue what the other person says or feels. And that is going to help you communicate, do not let the truth be known of having absent communication, because if communication doesn't happen, negativity feels the void.
Don't let that happen over, over, over communicate. You, you utilizing this method. I love it. Okay. So tour, I feel like I learned a lot. Yeah, you did very well played. Okay. Would you rather. Are you ready? Would you rather sleep on the dirty concrete for a month or sleep in a pigsty for a week? Uh, pigsty for a week, dirty concrete for a month pigsty for a week, a hundred percent.
So you and I are on the same page, easy for sure. On these that's easy, like get it done one and done one week and done not a month on the concrete. Well, let's ask, let's ask our listeners what they would do. What would you do? Wait a. I'm not hearing anything. you're listening so well. I am. I've learned. All right.
That's it for communication. Thank you for hanging out with us on beauty and battle. Don't forget to rate, review, subscribe, um, share this with somebody that you think it'll help in the meantime. Um, what should I say here? Mm, I don't know. I don't know how to end it. Let's just end it. Let's just end it. See you next time.
See you guys.