Marriage Minute

The non-verbal messages in a marriage are often the most powerful - and the most ignored. A look, tone, stance or glance often tells more than words would ever be able to say. But these non-verbal messages can also be misread and misapplied. Gently check with your spouse about what you see and experience through those non-verbals - and check your own to see if they are matching what your words are saying.

So, how do we clarify those non-verbal words? By putting them into words.... For example: "When you raise your eyebrow like that I think that means that you are irritated with me. Am I right? Would you tell me more about what is so frustrating to you?"

Or, "Your tone sounds edgy and short - like you don't really want to talk about this right now. Am I hearing that right?"

Of course, if you use a short, edgy, crabby tone and put your hand on your hip while asking these questions then your non-verbal words will be heard more than your inquiring, caring question and your spouses' answer will be in response to your non-verbal words, not your nice verbal words.

But, if you can ask your questions with quieter tones, gentle eye contact, and a caring smile (not a smirk) then your partner will probably hear your actual words and your conversation will have more meaning and connection. And then you will have a happier evening. How FUN!

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