Communication is the key to a successful marriage.  I have heard this statement a ton of times and I admit that statement was going to be the easiest part of the marriage in my mind.  Why?  Because I talk a lot, but I also pride myself in listening well too.  Yet I think that statement should be expanded upon.  “Having the RIGHT type of Communication is the key to a successful marriage.”

Being a newlywed, I’m experiencing all the bliss and the thrills, but now that we are settling in, the language and form in which we speak is starting to change.  Rather my wife’s language is changing and I need to get with the progress.  When I say the “right type” I mean tackling the uncomfortable conversations on a weekly basis.  The usual weekly meetings should be about:

1.  Finance/Credit/Budget/Savings

2.  Sex and Relating/Romance

3.  What bothers or upsets you

4.  What makes you happy

These are some of the most uncomfortable convos to have, but if you can bare through it, it is worth it.  I just find that it is weird discussing, what we are doing with OUR (because I want to say MY) money.  It doesn’t help the situation when you have a bender and spend $200 at a bar.  In a marriage you have to admit mistakes and be open even when you know it will be a lot of disappointed looks and you will feel embarrassed, because you let impulse enjoyment set us back financially.  Also these weekly discussions should focus on reestablishing a budget and sticking to it.  Questions should be “How much do you really need in an entertainment fund a month?”  “Do we really need the deluxe package of cable?”  “Is having ______ going to impact your happiness and enjoyment aka is it worth it?”, “Lets look at what we have both spent and see where we can cut (gas, haircuts, fast food, everything should be listed, if you spend it list it)?”,  “How much can we save (because you should always pay yourself first)?”  Fellas and ladies, have these convos and be open and honest.  I have hid CC bills in hope to pay them off before it was noticed.  I have purchased things under the table and tried to maneuver money around to get the item or items of my desire.  At the end of the day the sneakiness and mistrust is not worth it.

Lets talk about sex.  Now this can make the women gun shy, especially if the sex life is not where they want it to be.  Either it can be to much, not enough, wanting more stimulation, more foreplay, or just plan out more romance.  These are things that both parties have to be on board for.  Remember in these conversations to be very thick skinned with honesty, because most men are very sensitive about how they’re “laying it down”.  I went through a stage where I was working a lot, and on my off day I spent it with our daughter and I started to neglect my wife’s needs.  When she approached me about it I went on the defensive.  I couldn’t understand how this woman I love couldn’t see all the work I was doing, all the pressure I was under, and just how tired I was from working so much.  I looked at it as she was being selfish and very unthoughtful.  Until I was told by one of my best friends that I need to see it from her side.  She works too, she is tired, she is with our daughter all day while I’m away, and when I get home I’m probably neglecting her or not giving her a portion of my time.  Along with all that, she has needs too (hard to believe women have needs right 1959), just like my job, just like my daughter, and just like me.  So the advice was treat our sex/relating life as if it is a job.  In the sense of make time for it, prepare for it, make it an essential or necessity.  I wouldn’t miss work because I was tired?  I wouldn’t play with our daughter because I was tired?  So why would I not be intimate because I’m tired?  So you find the energy and I kind of realized it is like the gym.  You know how you don’t want to go to the gym, but once your in there (pun intended) you are glad you…  came! (Kind of gross but intended).

Number 3, is usually hard for the woman to take or understand.  WHAT BOTHERS ME!  Now in my recent history usually what bothers my wife is me not helping enough around the house.  Or me leaving my clothes in the living room and not taking it to the bedroom.  Now in my logic I’m probably going to re wear those clothes or I’m separating them for the washing machine.  Regardless of my reasoning, just take the damn clothes to the bedroom.  Simple fix!  I feel that sometimes women take it harder when guys mention things that bother them.  I know ladies, you think, change that know, you are absolutely perfect in our eyes and yes you are (hey I learned from “White Man Can’t Jump” listen to the woman), but sometimes simple things like not putting toilet paper on the roll after using it all bothers me.  Drinking out of my cup or eating food off my plate without asking, bothers me.  The exchange of these comments will foster a respect and a better relationship.  Also this allows both parties to try and eliminate issues in a productive and non confrontational way.

Lastly on to the bliss!  What is better than sitting there and hearing the love of your life tell you how great you are.  How great of a father you are.  How she loves when you hold her.  Also men this is an open forum to express our true feelings about our wife.  Sometimes its tough to let the guard down and say what your thinking and feeling, but this is the moment and you wont be judged for it.  Enjoy this moment, because you will spend the next week trying to work on numbers 1-3 and that will be difficult.

Now I’m not saying you can’t talk about these things throughout the week, and you should.  Reminding your life partner about things we both agreed to work on throughout the week is fine, your developing new habits to love each other better.  I’m only 4 months into this marriage game, and I still slip and fall.  Everyday is an exciting challenge in learning each other and what we can do to grow as a family.  Again the best advice I can give is communicate about the RIGHT things, because asking how your day was everyday, and saying “Hey I’m going out” is not going to cut it.  Details and subject matter can take your relationship/marriage from confusion and mistrust to openness and honesty.

Written by:

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen

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