Okay ladies—news flash—men can’t read our minds, they don’t think ahead and they can’t multitask, even though they think they can! I’ve been with Jackson for almost fourteen years and yes I wish he could: read my mind, tell me things in a way that are sensitive and a sentence that is well thought out before he speaks, but unfortunately that is not always the case. Although I love him more than anything in this world, we are still working on our communication skills and what each other needs, at the right time. Communication is the hardest part of any relationship, it takes a lot of work and time, but it is definitely worth it! Jackson and I aren’t perfect and most of our arguments stem from simple miscommunication errors, but we work really hard on this aspect of our marriage and trust me, it pays off. I’ve accumulated a list of our best communication tips and tricks and I offer them to you, in hope that maybe, just maybe, one will work for you!
We have a white board calendar from Target that we both walk by daily; at the beginning of each month we write down all of the important events for that month. On the side of the calendar, is a notes and to-do section that we write what we still need to accomplish for that month or the following months. Also, Jackson is a triathlete and trains daily, so at the bottom of each day he writes his workout and the duration of time it will take. The calendar has been an amazing tool for us!
Before we go to bed, we share our plans for the next day (usually what we are planning to do after work), so if we forgot to look at the calendar it’s fresh in our minds. This one is key and helps us immensely, simple and easy to do!
Honey Do List:
This one took me a few years to figure out, but Jackson loves to accomplish a to-do list. Instead of nagging at him to do things, I write him a honey do list. Sometimes it’s written on our chalkboard by the front door and other times it’s written on paper. This one works wonders for us!
No Guessing Games:
I used to think Jackson should know exactly what I wanted or needed, but I quickly realized this wasn’t the case. Men want to please us, but they do not appreciate our game of making them try to guess or assume they understand our needs by a subtle hint. Honestly men need it straight, if you want that new purse, show him a picture and say this is what I want for my birthday. If you don’t like the flowers you’re husband got you, at a time when you can express that the weed looking bouquet wasn’t your favorite, but you absolutely love that he’s getting them for you, but what you really want are pink roses. Men like to hear it straight or at least my husband does, it takes the guessing game out of the equation.
Learning About Your Emotions
Learning about your emotions and what triggers your anger is key to not only helping yourself, but your significant other. Let’s face it, the ones we love are the easiest to hurt because we know they will love us no matter what, it’s so backwards-but that’s life. I would never dare tell my boss I don’t like the way she said something, but my husband-easy, I wouldn’t think twice. I’m still learning about how to handle my emotions, I have a temper and Jackson is as cool as a cucumber; he’s never yelled at me (I thank his dad for that trait)! I’ve come a long way with my temper and I have Jackson to thank for it! He’s made me realize I need alone time, when I’m angry and he gives me that space. He doesn’t allow me to not talk to him for long, which I’ve come to appreciate! When I give myself that time-out, I can collect my thoughts, so when we do talk, I can then express to Jackson what bothered me, in a calm matter and prevent that fight from happening again in the future. I encourage everyone to learn about yourself and what sets you off and why; it is really hard to point the finger at ourselves, but it will save your relationship. Besides, who wants to waist their time fighting, it’s exhausting and being happy is way more FUN!
When Is the Right Time?
Is it ever the right time to tell someone they are annoying you or doing something wrong, it’s way easier to keep it in…right? NO! This one can be difficult for any relationship, but the one thing I can advise is don’t let it fester up inside of you, until it blows up! I do so many things that would probably annoy any other female, but Jackson never seems to be phased by them. Me on the other hand, I can name a laundry list of things Jackson annoys me by doing: not hanging up his towel, socks inside out in the laundry, toilet seat left up, shoes out everywhere-except where they should be, cupboards left open, clothes on the ground-IN FRONT OF THE LAUNDRY BIN, I attribute these things to his simple mind; man I wish I could be more like him when it comes to being annoyed! We were watching Shark Tank, a show about entrepreneurs coming up with the next best invention and this guy presented a small, white stuffed elephant to the Shark investors. His idea was simple; when he leaves the toilet seat up, his wife would leave the elephant on top of the toilet seat, to indicate to her husband that it bothered her. The Sharks didn’t offer him a deal, but we thought it was funny and a light hearted way to tell your spouse an annoyance. Lilly, our dog has an elephant toy and right after that episode I put the elephant by his shoes that were left out; we had a good laugh, but he did put his shoes away. I’ve also used this tactic when we’re in the same room; “Hey Babe, there is a white elephant in the room!” He’ll look around and realize he forgot to put the remote back in the right place. Humor can work magic and laughter is the best medicine!
Jackson and I are still working everyday on communicating, but he is definitely worth it!! I would love to learn from you, comment below and let me know what communication tricks and tips you use with your significant other.