Two Phrases Every Married Couple Need to Say More Often
Posted on March 25 2020
Without a doubt, marriage is an exercise in communication. My husband and I have been married for almost 12 years, together for 16 years total. We have had three children together. Each stage and shape of our marriage has brought new challenges in communicating.
When we first started dating communicating was rather easy, it was actually what sealed the deal for him and I on knowing we were meant for each other. We once sat on the couch and talked almost all night, it was the night he called me his oasis. Everything just flowed back then.
Getting married led to some more difficult forms of communication, mostly because that is when other people are more involved in your relationship. Big decisions are being made, big moves, big change. As the stress level rises, the ease of communication suffers a bit. Still, we made it through and down the aisle together.
The next huge change was our first child. You go from loving and focusing on one another to falling in love with the new human you both have created. Differing views about parenting inevitably arise and you have to figure out how to have tougher conversations.
I feel like being married, at least in our relationship, we’ve constantly pushed each other to grow. We both have high expectations for each other and strong beliefs. We agree on a lot, but conversations about changes that need to be made by one person or the other are difficult. This lead to a recent epiphany we both have had that really has brought a lot of joy to our marriage. These two phrases, when said honestly, are powerful.
First, let’s discuss “I’m sorry”. Now, as a woman, I feel like I was trained to always say I’m sorry. I say it all the time! Too much actually. On the other hand, my husband’s “training” led him to rarely say sorry. To me, I’m sorry is easy to say, its almost expected. To him, it was a sign of defeat. We found this out by communicating purely about our needs during tough conversations, arguments, or when we disagree. I’m Sorry is a powerful phrase and one that is necessary in a marriage. If my husband does something to upset me, and I let him know, and he doesn’t say sorry…it never goes away. I can’t even get back to a good place unless I know he cares enough about me to acknowledge that I was hurt by something, whether he meant it or not. The communication will stall there for me, and I won’t be able to engage that well. For a long time, my husband very rarely said I’m sorry and it held us back. Now, he sees that it isn’t a sign of defeat, that it isn’t weak to say I’m Sorry. Now, he sees that when he says those simple two words to me and I can then open up to him, that’s it’s a key. It opens the door to a better relationship.
Next, let’s delve into “You’re Right”. I probably chose to discuss I’m Sorry first because it’s my favorite. You’re Right, on the other hand, is my husband’s favorite. Those are the words he is craving to hear when we disagree. And, for a long time, I never knew to say it, I didn’t know that he was waiting for me to. I think the reason you get into an argument in the first place is because you think you are right and that the other person is wrong. It’s very important to my husband to be right. And, while no one is ever right all the time, sometimes they are. Sometimes they are right and you don’t want to admit they are right because in doing so, you are admitting you are wrong. Not giving in, admitting defeat, and celebrating their victory with them can keep both parties feeling disconnected. So now, when we disagree about something instead of digging our heels in and staying on opposite sides, we compromise more. I don’t lie, he doesn’t lie, but we push ourselves to see the other’s persons viewpoint more deeply. And if he is right, I tell him. And if I am wrong, I tell him. He does the same for me, and it feels good to do that. It feels good to get to a place where you can move on and be happy.
With a little practice these phrases get easier and easier to say, and arguments become less and less frequent until a new more respectful and loving type of communication takes it’s place. There was a lot of growing up and challenges we faced together to get us to this place. On the whole, we are happy, but no marriage or relationship is ever perfect, nothing is. But as a wise person once shared with me…If each person in the marriage is more worried about their partners happiness that their own, it cannot fail. Freeing up yourselves from ego-driven interactions will allow you to be better partners in life. Find out what matters to you partner, what they'd like to hear, and say it more often.