I got married on July 29th, 2017, but I feel as though I’ve been married to my husband since a year ago. We have been through so many obstacles along the way to make it down the aisle, but we made it.
Communication is key in any relationship. Communication hasn’t always been clear between us, which has led to some intense arguments, but one thing that has helped us communicate has been “Active Listening.” Active listening is a psychology term, and the concept has helped tremendously when my husband and I aren’t connecting or seeing eye to eye.
Active listening is when there are two people in the conversation. One person will speak, while the other sits back silently, listening, observing the body language of the person speaking, and once the speaker is finished, the listener reflects back what they have heard.
For instance if I was talking about how the litter needs to be changed once a week, arms crossed, and how if it isn’t Luvas starts crying, and Jak sat back and listened, and stated back what he heard and understood from my body language, he could reply with, “It seems to me I hear that you’re frustrated that I forget to change the litter weekly because it has a negative impact on Luvas, which frustrates you because you’re pregnant and shouldn’t change the litter. Am I hearing that right?” I would then reply yes. The litter example I gave is actually one of the tension points that comes up now and again because Jak does forget to do the litter on occasion. I get frustrated when I have to ask him to do the litter 3 times in one day and it doesn’t get done because I do see Luvas and Emily unhappy or crying. I know that during pregnancy I am not supposed to do that, and it also makes me feel a bit helpless, and I could relay that emotion to Jak as well so he gets a fuller understanding of why my frustration builds.
Now, active listening takes practice and patience. We didn’t get it right the first time, or even the fifth time. It can be really hard to stay silent and let the other person speak when you just want to interject and say your point. But sitting back, taking a deep breath, and listening to your significant other, openly can really help let you be open to hearing what they are saying and what lies beneath the surface words by seeing the way they are saying it, through body language. If you find yourself arguing more than communicating, bring up this strategy with your significant other and see if you guys want to try it.