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Committed: The Ties that Bond

with Angella Dykstra

I'm a mom of three, a professional accountant, and an amateur photographer and writer. I am not a marriage expert. But my husband and I take "Til death do us part" seriously, and here I'll be sharing how we keep our marriage strong while we both do that insane work-life juggle.

Check out my Work It, Mom! profile and my blog, Dutch Blitz.

Communication is more than talking

Categories: communication, marriage


My husband and I have very different communication styles. I, on the one hand, like to communicate. He, on the other hand, does not. He does it, but it usually involves a lot of prodding and pleading and questioning, and even that doesn’t always work. He knows this, and tries to be better, but it’s just not his nature.

This January has been a hard one for the both of us. There’s the post-holiday crash, grey weather, and a nagging feeling of discontent. He’s in a job that he loves, but it’s pretty demanding, and for once in in his life he’s not sure of the 10-year plan. I’m in a job that I am good at, but am not content with, I have no idea what I should be when I grow up, and a bunch of other stuff I can’t talk about on the Internet.

My husband has been stuck inside his own head for the past few weeks and we as a couple haven’t been firing on all cylinders. It hasn’t been bad between us, but it hasn’t been great, either. While out with girlfriends on Sunday night I hinted at that fact to them, and then when I got home I pointed it out to him. We slept on it and hashed it out yesterday. Again, the details of our conversation are not for the Internet, but I literally felt a weight lift after our (two-hour) conversation.

We saw the problem in our communication, we talked about a number of issues that have been weighing on us, and we came up with an action plan. Yay, communication!

How about you? Is one of you better at communication? Do you have any tips for keeping the lines of communication open?

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4 comments so far...

  • January can SUCK IT.

    Mrs. Wilson  |  January 31st, 2012 at 3:55 pm

  • I totally agree with Mrs. Wilson. SUCK IT!

    Yeah, I completely blew up at my husband on Saturday night. There were some legitimate issues that needed to be addressed and some clear lines that needed to be drawn and I had been going about planning how I was going to bring up these issues in a calm, reasoned and respectful manner. And I was even planning on doing it Saturday night (after the kids went to bed.)
    Unfortunately there was an event that set me off (before the kids went to bed). I am not an angry person and I can count maybe three crazy outbursts of anger in my whole life, and Saturday was one of them.
    It was bad.
    I said the things that needed to be said, and asked questions that needed to be asked, but I also cut him down in ways that I shouldn’t have and that were very hurtful and unnecessary. We were both reeling for the rest of the weekend. It led to a conversation that was worthwhile and led into the wee hours. But it was such a wrong way to begin. Sunday was awkward.

    I admitted a need on my side to address things as they come and not let them fester (as I know I do), but we also discussed how very difficult he is to approach any why it is difficult for me, so he is going to work on his intimidating reactions. So that’s good.

    And on a lighter note, as a reformed technophobe, I must say that I now GET what you’ve been talking about, the value of texting with the spouse throughout the day. Wow. Such a superficial thing makes us feel so much more connected. Good advice you tout here in this blog.

    Danica  |  January 31st, 2012 at 4:14 pm

  • Every so often things get strained at our house and we either have a huge fight or one of those very long conversations to hash things out (or both). It’s no fun, but it helps so much to get everything out on the table. Glad you’re feeling a weight lifted. :)

    Tamara  |  January 31st, 2012 at 5:51 pm

  • I am the master communicator in our marriage, mostly because I talk. A lot. That is evident in the length of my comments and blog posts. Corey is quiet. Life and his gender and stuff has made communication difficult for him, it’s a daily lesson for us both. I’ve learned how to push gently and when to shut it (because not everything needs to be talked about till your lips are purple) and he’s trying to speak up when something isn’t ok.

    I think the only tip is to keep at it. Working at communication is communicating in its self and it means you love each other enough to try. It’s when someone gets too frustrated and give us and the worst damage is done.

    Ashley  |  January 31st, 2012 at 8:14 pm