"How Was Your Day?" "Fine." A Cure

"How was your day?"


Don't you just want to scream?

Or cry?

You live in the same house with the man or woman you've pledged to love, honor, and cherish, but you can't even carry on a conversation. 

When you were dating, you'd talk for hours about everything, but now it's unusual to get beyond the type of superficial exchange you could share with the stranger standing in the grocery line.

What happened?

 "When we fail to communicate openly and meaningfully," writes Dr. Gary Chapman in his new book The Marriage You've Always Wanted, "We dam up the stream of life and tend to create a stagnant pool of self pity. We feel alone because we are alone. We may still live in the same house, but we live as two lonely people rather than as a unit. This is precisely the opposite of what God intended."

He goes on to say that communication doesn't come naturally, nor, on the other hand, is it impossible to attain. It simply takes effort and commitment to bring it about. "If we are to enjoy that warm flow of life that is the deepest of all human satisfactions, we must communicate. . . 

"Communication is an act of the will," Chapman says. "We communicate by deliberate act."

To aid a couple in going beyond "Fine," he suggests this exercise. He promises that if each partner will commit to doing it for a month, they will experience better communication and an increase in warm feelings.

Three Steps for Going Beyond "Fine":

1.  Commit to tell each other three things that happened every day.

2.  In response, the spouse (or friend, or parent) says, "And how did that make you feel?"

3.  When they answer, reply appropriately.

Using this exercise encourages you not only to discuss "happenings," but also feelings. Sharing feelings is the key to growing your relationship and opening up further avenues of deeper communication. "The process of sharing, " observes Chapman, "will bring a fresh sense of oneness to your  mate (friend, child, parent). He/she will begin to feel a part of what you are doing."

Don't think this technique is limited to only marriage. Imagine if you begin to apply this to your family around your dining room table, and each member of the family shared not only what happened that day, but how he/she felt? What if you practiced it with a friend? These other relationships also need help to grow.

 What's your best tip for encouraging good communication? Leave a comment below and join the conversation. I'd love to hear from you!

In my next relationship post, I'll share a tip my husband and I learned to apply during a dry spell in our marriage. I trust it will help you too. 
Subsequent posts in this series include "How to Effectively Share Criticism," and "How to Fight Fairly." If you haven't yet subscribed to Hungry for God, do so now in the box below so you won't miss one of these helpful posts.

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  1. What a great reminder... My husband and I have always believed that communication is very important and strive to take time to talk and read the Bible together every evening. Thanks for linking up!

  2. Best technique: I'd say open-ended questions. Yes or no questions are not gateway questions. Great post. Intentionality is so important.


  3. so simple, yet so true... I also am learning to speak when he is ready to listen, when I really have his ear. Sometimes, he simply wants to be left alone, and that's ok too. Timing is surely being led by Holy Spirit!

  4. These are such great tips. Marriage is something you have to work very hard at as it is something so valuable.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to link up this week over at WholeHearted Home. I look forward to seeing you again next week.

  5. Thanks for sharing this at Matrimonial Mondays. I have found if I give him a kiss when he gets home, let him regroup for a bit and then start talking to him, he will open right up. I guess he needs a little down time first.

  6. Marriage takes work and communication takes action. Thank you for sharing at WJIM this week. Blessings.

  7. I agree that communication is key! I always ask my hubby and kids how their day went every night when they walk in the door. But I've also learned that timing is important and so I don't spring big or lengthy topics on them when they first come in. Timing is everything!

    Thanks so much for linking up to the "Making Your Home Sing Monday" linky party today! :)

  8. It always shocks me how much our degree of communication affects me on a day-to-day the end of the day, I can tell if we have truly communicated or not based on how I feel and I crave that communication/connection with my husband.

    Thank you for the reminder and tips on questions to ask.

  9. I love your blog :) follow me and I'll follow you


  10. Excellent tips! I'm pinning this so that I can find it again later! I'm visiting from the Womanhood with Purpose Link-up. :)

  11. Thanks for sharing this! I needed to read that! I am stopping by form Homemaking Party Blog hop. I would love a visit back