Who is in the inner circle of your life? Ok obviously it’s one another. Is there anyone else?
When you let off steam, freak out, or even just vent who do you call? Who has access to your thought life? Who has access to your resources? Who do you regularly let in? Who can handle to full expression of how you process?
As a couple take a moment to evaluate how often you turn to one another or do you assume he or she will just know? In James we read, “let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” To be quick at listening, each of you has to be regularly communicating.
“In a respectful relationship, each person understands, “I am responsible to know what is going on inside me and communicate it to you. I do not expect you to know it, nor will I allow you to assume that you know it. And I will not make assumptions about what is going on inside you.”
The habit of communication and then communicating with the right people in the correct order is the practice of successful relationships.
“You can start practicing the skills of assertive communication by paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and needs and respecting their value. Then start doing the same for other people.”
All relationships need to fit in their proper order. If you want to affair proof your marriage pay attention to who you are assertive with and who is assertive with you. Take for example a close friend or college buddy who regularly has access to your time do you ever say no? This can be stressful in your relationship when one of you is waiting to have access because of the other’s lack of boundaries.
Who in your life can call whenever or show up whenever? Who do you have very little to no boundaries? If there are relationships like this in your life caution should be taken as a couple. Boundaries need to be lovingly set in place. “Hey _________ I know we always made time for _____________ but it isn’t gonna work the same way going forward. I really value you however before I discuss matters with you, I need to get on the same page with my, husband or wife.”
Note in a relationship failure or problematic behavior one person or both often withheld the thoughts, feelings, and needs unique to them or gave their inner thoughts to another. And when one of the parties in the relationship doesn’t place value on the honesty required to go the distance as well as the depth the relationship declines. You will seek validation and counsel somewhere so have the courage to go to one another with your most difficult challenges.
“Conditional love and acceptance means that we are willing to pull away from our connection under certain circumstances. The minute we happen to scare the other person or they scare us; we will be tempted to withhold our love and disconnect. And because disconnection only produces more fear and anxiety, we will widen our distance at an alarming rate. This threat effectively prevents two people from feeling free to be themselves because they instinctively know the connection won’t be strong enough to handle it. In contrast, when we commit to unconditional love and acceptance, we protect each other’s freedom. Everything that we offer to the relationship comes freely from our hearts, not under coercion. Yes, committing to pursue and protect my connection with you means that I will be thinking about how my decisions will affect you.”
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
Proverbs 18:2 ESV
A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.
Proverbs 29:11 ESV
Listen: what part, concept, or segment stands out?
Understand: How can you set up boundaries personally? Do you need to communicate more? Are there guidelines you agree upon for who has access to you individually? Are there any areas of growth as a couple you can pray about?
Do THIS: take action. Make a plan to be intentional about your connection and communication.