When Lamar and I were dating, he said I had up a wall. And if you talk to him about it, he will proudly boast about “breaking down my wall.” Most of the time, I jokingly deny it. But Lamar speaks the truth….there was a wall…hell..it was a fortress.
I had up a wall because of my past hurts, past disappointments, past relationship failures, and past bad choices. I put up this wall to protect me, but what I failed to realize is that it also prevented me….from moving on, from letting go, from allowing Lamar to love me fully, and from loving Lamar freely.
Thank God, Lamar felt that our relationship was special enough to stick around and to help me break down that wall, brick by brick. Because it did not come easy, trusting someone with your heart after it has been broken is no easy feat. But Lamar jumped through some hoops and put up with some stuff. And now, I have to tell you that it feels soooo good to let go, to let someone in, and to be loved.
I really feel like I can be naked with Lamar, both literally and figuratively. This really means that I am able to open up share with him my deepest and sometimes darkest feelings and insecurities.
And now that we are married, people ask us all of the time to tell them the one thing that makes our marriage work. And, I always tell them..that it is really hard to pin point one thing as there are so many things that we do to make it work. But, I would put good communication at the top of that list. There’s nothing that we don’t talk about and that we can’t share with each other. We talk all of the time about everything and about nothing.
Check out these 10 conversations every married couple should have:
1) Talk About Being Happy 1 of 10It sounds corny..but so what. We check in with each other from time to time to see how the other person feels in the marriage and about the marriage. This allows us to then discuss how to address any concerns that we may have. Photo Credit: hotblack
2) Talk About What’s Bothering You 2 of 10When something's bothering you (even when that something is your spouse), you should be able to tell your spouse. Don't let unresolved issues turn into resentment in your marriage. I have heard that great communication has 2 components: 1. effectively communicating (i.e using the right tone, picking the right time, and making sure your point is understood) and 2. listening (i.e - repeat what you hear, dig deeper and ask questions, let your spouse know that you understand.) But I always say there is a 3rd component, caring. If your spouse is telling you something over and over, then it must matter to them....so the question is..does it matter to you...are you going to work with your spouse towards a solution. Please check out this important reminder from Tiya Cunningham-Sumter about Extending Grace to Your Spouse. Photo Credit: hotblack
3) Talk About Your Dreams 3 of 10You and your spouse can provide tremendous support to each other towards achieving your dreams. Share what you are passionate about with your spouse and then work together towards achieving it. Check this out: Warning: 8 Things You May Be Doing to Squash Your Spouse's Dreams Photo Credit: wallyir
4) Talk About Your Day 4 of 10Sometimes, this doesn't happen until the kids go to bed. And some days, it does not happen at all. But we try not to let too many days go by without getting caught up with what's happening with each other. Does your spouse know what is going on at work? Does your spouse know the latest gossip with your family? If not, it's time to get caught up. Photo Credit: anon
5) Talk About Being Wrong 5 of 10If you're wrong, you need to be able to put your ego and pride aside and say you're wrong. We ran an excellent article on our site recently by relationship coach Rahaman "Kil" Kilpatrick titled, Why Is It So Hard to Say I'm Sorry. In it, he says it's so hard to say you're sorry because of PRIDE. " Kil says that a lot of marriages are staying in the same place or moving backwards because there's too much pride involved. Photo Credit: wallyir
6) Talk About The Kids 6 of 10We parent together which means it's necessary to talk about plans and goals for the kids. We also think it is important to keep a united front. So if we have differences in opinions (especially about discipline) we try to work it out together first and not in front of the kids. Photo Credit: wallyir
7) Talk About Your Finances 7 of 10We (Lamar and I ) always say that before you get married you need to talk about many things ...with finances being one of them. A few factors that play into financial issues for couples are: not understanding how each spouse uses or manages money. Not knowing their habits before you were even married?......Was your spouse a big spender? Not being honest about debts going into the relationship and about spending habits during the relationship. And if you want to come together financially then you have to: have open communication about your finances (financial transparency), share information credit card and bank statements, establish goals and a budget, and meet frequently to discuss finances. Photo Credit: drummerboy
8) Talk About Your Next Date 8 of 10We hear people say all of the time that they either don't have the time or the money to date their spouse. But if it is important to you, you will get creative and come up with a few ways to spend some quality time together. Check out this video about The Best Cheap Date Ever. Photo Credit: suzettesuzette
9) Talk About Your Goals 9 of 10Goals are a great way for you to grow your marriage and family. Goals provide direction for your marriage and will strengthen your relationship as you work together to achieve them. Writer, Jackie Bledsoe says: One of the most effective ways to set, and achieve goals is to follow the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting model. Most of us are familiar with it. Our goals should be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound. .....What about S.M.A.R.T. goals for your marriage? Goals that cannot be completed alone. Goals that need you and your spouse to achieve. Goals that will give married couples something to work toward, work together, and work dependent upon our spouses." Photo Credit: lululemon athletica
10) Talk About Nothing 10 of 10You shouldn't need a reason to talk to your spouse. I bet when you were dating, you talked for hours about anything and everything. And when you ran out of things to say, you probably listened to each other breathe on the phone. (I confess...Lamar and I are guilty of this.) You should check out this article by Dr. Michele Johnson, Marriage is for Soul Mates not Roommates where she shares: Now that I'm married to my soul mate, I have no intention of going back to being roommates, especially not in a house we share and purchased together. Soul mates do more than share space; they share their hearts. Soul mates do more than room together; they sleep together. Soul mates do more than pay bills; they provide financial stability. Soul mates do more than live together; they make a life together. Photo Credit: wallyir
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