Laughing Matters
Marital bliss through communication

By Charles Marshall | February 10, 2010

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Marriage is tough. No doubt about it. And why do most marriages fail? One word: Extremely poor communication.

charles marshallSo how do you get the conversational ball rolling in your marriage? The next time your wife comes to you and wants to have a heart-to-heart, instead of clamming up and just sitting there like you usually do, I say load her up with some advice, and lots of it.

Trust me, your wife will appreciate it. Women are sick and tired of men who are thoughtful and supportive. When your wife complains to you about her day, the last thing she wants is for you to patiently listen to her and empathize with her struggles. If you do that, you’ll automatically lose her respect and she’ll never think of you as a real man again.

No, what she wants from you is a lecture – a point-by-point, instructional diatribe about how most of her problems are her own fault. Tell her that her troubles are typical of her gender and that her real problem is she’s thinking like a woman. Then tell her what you would do if you were in her shoes, or better yet, how you would have avoided the whole mess in the first place by using good ol’ man-sense.

Oh, and don’t wait until the end of her wah-wah, I-had-a-hard-day story to launch your lecture either. Interrupt her after about 2-3 minutes. Tell her you get it, that you’ve heard it a thousand times before and here’s what you think about it. She will appreciate your go-get-‘em attitude and the fact that you didn’t make her relive the hardships of her day.
Make sure you don’t phone it in either. Most women can spot a fraud a mile away, so get up in her face and make her believe you mean it. She’ll respect you more for it.

The point I’m making here is your woman needs and, yes, even craves your input. The stoic male that never interacts with his wife is passé. The modern husband is involved in his marriage and demonstrates his amore by offering his opinion about the way things are being run.

Instead of vegging out in front of the television all day, why not help your wife out by telling her what she’s doing wrong? Imagine the look of delight and ecstasy on her face when you tell her the house is a mess, the kids are out of control, and it wouldn’t kill her to throw on some make-up every now and then.

Ahhh, the doors of communication are now open and the flow of love can begin! Tears might begin to well up in her eyes. Her lower lip might begin to tremble. She might melt into your arms in gratitude for your loving and open torrent of criticism.

But don’t stop there! Now that you have opened the door for genuine and meaningful dialog, throw caution to the wind and tell her that her family makes the Osbournes look normal, she can’t tell a joke, and, yes, you’ve noticed she’s gaining weight lately.

If these words don’t land you on a second honeymoon, then I don’t know what will.

Admittedly, this plan might not be the wisest move. Uh, maybe not even a reasonably smart move.

And that’s how it is with wisdom on this planet – sometimes it’s a hard thing to find. Psalm 111:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (NIV)

I like that phrase, “the beginning of wisdom.” I believe the best way to approach any challenge – whether it’s running a business, leading a church, or just trying to communicate with your spouse – is to seek God and get his direction first. I’ve found that by doing so, you can save yourself a lot of pain and frustration.

And speaking of pain, as I read back over this article I can see now the communication philosophy I have suggested lacks perspective – the perspective that you’ll die a slow and horrible death if you ever, ever talk to your wife like that. Now there’s some wisdom for you.