My husband looks at me and asks me what’s wrong. Did he offend me? Did he do something wrong? And, instead of being honest, I swallow my hurt and frustration, tell him no, and continue to fold laundry. I tell him I have a headache and I’m tired. He gets me some water and aspirin – the lie having caused the headache and the lack of communication causing a rift.
Communication is such a murky subject. There are numerous levels. There’s the ‘survival communication‘. The “did you get the clothes out of the dryer? S is out of underwear!” Then there’s the ‘surface talk’ The “How was your day? Rough, yours? Kids were crazy, cute, then crazy again.”
It’s the deep talk, the heart talk, that is difficult to get to. Between the busyness of the day and the weariness in the evening, sometimes there’s nothing left to give.
How many times have we had to peel back the layers of life to get back to the ‘us’ – the couple that used to talk for hours? We have to make the time to communicate. We have to take it and put that time to good use.
My husband and I live in the same house together, we live life together, but communicating what’s on our hearts is sometimes difficult. After mulling this over and trying to get to the root cause of our lack of communication, I’ve come up with a couple of things. They may not be your reasons but perhaps they’ll help you figure out yours.
The first is complacency. Sometimes talking takes too much effort (there, I said it and my husband admitted this too). Much to my chagrin, sometimes I’m okay with not making that effort. It’s sort of like when you know you should be spending time with your kids but you know that pile of dishes won’t clean itself and you choose the dishes over love (please tell me I’m not the only one doing this!) You’ve lost that moment, to what, housework? But the times that you’ve chosen play over work have been so sweet.
That’s the way it is with talking with my man. When I choose talking over the 25 tasks on my ‘to-do’ list, it reaps so many more rewards. The dishes will always be there but the opportunity to build that relationship might not be.
Okay, so I told you that there were a couple of things – here’s the second. FEAR. One word, but such a big one. I’m afraid sometimes to tell that man that I love with all my heart, what is going on inside my brain. I’m afraid because with love comes the power to hurt, and if I don’t talk, I don’t give him that power, right?
But how many times have I been surprised when I do bear my heart and we have had a wonderful conversation?
Fear will do that to you. It’ll creep in and tell you things that aren’t true. Lies that will keep your relationship from growing because you believe them over what you know to be true. And the truth is my husband loves me and wants to talk too. The truth is, he holds my heart protectively.
Do you know something wonderful? God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)
When I am fearful, I am weak, undisciplined, and selfish. These character traits don’t build relationships but rather tear them down.
The love of God is amazing and more powerful than we could ever fathom. He can give us the strength to have genuine heart conversations. And, He alone can conquer the fear that holds us back from becoming a couple who brings Him glory in our relationships.