This Ridiculously Simple Trick Is Improving My Marriage
A couple months ago I started a simple trick to help my marriage.
It’s so simple that I’m almost embarrassed to share it. But after two weeks I could tell a difference, so here it goes–
My Ridiculously Simple Trick To Improve My Marriage
When my husband starts talking to me, I put my hands in my lap (or at my side if I’m standing) and turn to face him.
(I told you it was simple.)
Confession: I’m A Bad Listener
If you would have told me before I got married that I was a bad listener, I would’ve brushed you off. Of course I’m not a bad listener! I can repeat what you’re saying, I keep the conversation going, I nod appropriately.This is listening, right?
Turns out, I’m totally guilty. Here are the things I typically do when my husband is talking to me:
- plan tomorrow’s to-do list
- plot what I’m going to say once he finishes talking
- attempt to multitask by simultaneously doing chores while listening
Though I think I’m being stealthy with these tactics, my husband notices. Judging by the many conversations we’ve had about how I don’t listen to him, my lack of attention hurts him.
Friends, reformation is needed.
Apart from my desire to value my husband’s words, I also feel spiritually convicted about my bad listening. God pays so much attention to us that he knows the hairs on our head. When I speak with Jesus, I expect him to listen. Every time.
I expect undivided attention.
I believe Jesus wants me to give undivided attention, too. It’s a rare commodity, and a powerful act of love. To listen is a gift worth giving.
Thus the simple trick. When my husband starts talking to me, I put my hands in my lap or to my side. This forces me to set down whatever I’m holding (iPad, broom, kitchen towel), thus drawing my attention away from it and toward him. And then I turn to face him. This automatically encourages me to make eye-contact, and my ears follow my eyes.
From here I just Try Not To Move.
Amazingly, listening happens. Conversation flows. I stop getting into trouble for not paying attention, and my marriage improves.
Try it! The next time your spouse starts talking to you, put your hands in your lap and turn to face them. Then see what happens.
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