When you’re out of sync with your spouse or significant other, you feel it. You typically use statements like these:
“I don’t understand.”
“I don’t know how to approach you.”
“What’s going on here?”
Fortunately, there is a way to unlock better communication in a relationship. Bill and Pam Farrel discuss the secret language of successful couples and how that language builds a foundation for intimacy.
Bill starts with this statement: “As men, our hidden hope is that the person we married is one of our buddies who looks better than the rest of our guys. We try to get our wives to ‘man up’ and face the challenges of life. And it doesn’t work.”
Pam shares how women approach their husbands: “‘If you love me, you should just know why I’m mad, what I want for my birthday.’ They don’t just know. We have to communicate in a loving responsive way.”
Here are some tips for wives:
1. Recognize how your husband is wired for success. “If we believe we can succeed at romancing our wives, we pursue that. Anything we think we can’t succeed at, we’ll avoid.”
2. Affirm him through physical contact, words, and acts of service.
3. Let your husband help with things that he can do well.
4. Pray for him. Pam explains. “The more we love our husband, the more we pray for him. The more we pray for him, the more we love him.”
Here are some tips for husbands:
1. Recognize that your wife’s life is always in flux.
2. Ask, “How can I help you feel secure today?”
3. Let your wife talk things out; don’t try to solve every problem she raises but let her take you on a journey of processing her day and commit to listen. Listening creates a safe environment for her to share what’s going on.
4. Accept her influence and pay attention when she “raises an alarm” about an issue in the family.
Pam shares a prayer for couples to use when they have a major barrier in communication.
“Holy Spirit, we want You to help us out. So show me what to say, show me what to do.”
Bill and Pam’s book is The Secret Language of Successful Couples: The Keys for Unlocking Love.