“Communication is key!” We’ve all heard that before, and it is true. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, however. Really though, relationships aren’t easy. They are hard, and they take work. Real relationships aren’t fairytales. We may want them to be and the happiness of a fairytale may be there. But, reality is, you don’t just meet someone, fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after. Real life just doesn’t work that way. Marriage takes effort!
A big part of that effort is communication. Part of communicating with your spouse is figuring out how they communicate and acting on that. Everybody has different skills when it comes to communicating. Everybody has different ways that are easier for them to get their point across, to listen, and to feel loved.
There have been many books written on communication in marriage. Most of them have good points and can prove to be helpful. However, it is rare to find one that gives advice specific to military relationships.
Marriage in the military is a completely different breed of relationship. Military relationships face trials that most other relationships will never have to deal with. That’s why communication is even more important for them.
When faced with the long hours and periods of separation, lack of communication can kill a marriage. If a couple in this situation can’t find a way to communicate with each other, there is nothing to build the relationship on.
Each person must be willing to put in the effort to communicate. As I stated before, you have to take the time to learn how your spouse communicates. Words may not always be enough or it may be difficult for them to verbalize their feelings. Perhaps your husband finds it easier to apologize to you by doing the dishes, than by actually saying the words. This may not be the perfect apology, but maybe for him it is easier than verbalizing his feelings. Or maybe, your wife is venting about her job. As a guy, you may feel the need to tell her ways to fix the problem. But, what she really needs is for you listen and give her a hug. It may be difficult, but she needs to accept his apology by actions and he has to find a way to hold his tongue and simply be there for her.
Communication, like any other skill, is not learned overnight. It can take years to learn the best way to communicate with your spouse. Even then, it is a skill that takes constant practice. Like trust, communication is a choice. Will you choose to put in the effort?