My legs were sticking together and a bead of sweat rolled lazily down my back. “Ugh. I’m hot,” I thought and glanced at the unmoving ceiling fan. “You hot?” I asked my husband. “Nope,” he replied never taking his eyes off the blood-squirting, shoot-em-up movie he was watching.
“I’m dying,” I complained.
“It’s an inferno in here. I wonder if the air is working,” I continued.
Incensed, I shoved up out of my chair and crossed the room to flip on the ceiling fan. Behind me there was a sudden quiet, as the love of my life paused his movie. “Why didn’t you just ask me to turn on the fan?”
I walked back to my chair cooler but confused. Had I not made it clear that I wanted my hubby to turn on the fan? Sometimes husbands and wives speak two different languages – or so it seems.
Lack of effective communication is one of the biggest happiness blockers in marriage. Notice I said effective. I communicated with my husband my need for the fan, but I didn’t successfully make him understand I wanted him to turn it on. Often in relationships we throw in the “genie factor” when making our wishes known. We give hints of what we want and hope the magic genie will help our spouse recognize our desires.
Let me save you years worth of arguments and thousands of dollars in counseling bills by telling you the key to effective communication. Wait for it.
Be specific when telling your spouse what you want.
Would you turn on the fan for me? I’m hot.
My back is sore. Would you mind rubbing it for me?
Would you help with paying the bills by being responsible for all things medical?
I might eat one of the children if I don’t get chocolate. Could you run to Kroger and buy me some plain M&M’s? Not the peanut kind and not the peanut butter strawberry kind. Just so we are clear.
See? It’s not hard at all. Next time you find yourself glaring at your significant other because they haven’t noticed your toes turning blue with frostbite and offered to hand you the blanket right next to them, take a deep breath and say, “Could you please pass me the brown fuzzy blanket?”
You are on your way to a truly happy marriage already.