Q:What happens when a spouse doesn’t communicate much?
A: Julie used to stuff things down because she didn’t want to deal with any of it. One thing that helped was planning a time of intentional conversation, to set aside a time for us to both focus on what we DO want. Asking a series of questions during this time helps draw out dreaming together, deeper connection and inspires conversation.
Another thing that’s served us well for communication, as well as helped many couples we’ve coached is to assume the best. It is very possible the individual doesn’t know how to communicate effectively, it’s just not in their nature. It’s easy to assume he/she just doesn’t want to engage. Sometimes it’s just a personality thing, we know one couple where the husband is very quiet and the wife is very outgoing and talkative. It might require a lot of questions to get the quiet partner to respond. Many times, they just need something to work with, they need a starting point.
So, What happens when a spouse doesn’t communicate much? Sometimes people aren’t as vocal or quick-witted, they are methodical and technical. Ask them, what intentional way does he/she want to grow? Listen with reflection (Here’s what I’m hearing you say…). The more communicative partner sometimes needs to slow down and let the quieter one process, they could be on the third issue before their spouse has time to process the first.
One of the best tools for intentional questions is our “He Said, She Said” conversation starters for couples. Click the image to download your free copy!