Highlight: Communication styles

Communication styles differ between men and women. Knowing how your spouse communicates can make all the difference in growing your relationship. Relationship experts Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley share an example from their own marriage.

While Erin can jump right into a deep conversation, Greg needs time to transition into a conversation. Erin explains,

“I’ll recognize the glazed look. Because, as women, we’re like microwave ovens; we can go deep and we can go quick, and our conversation is deep and intimate and connecting.”

“For Greg, I can tell when I walk in and I drop something that’s so deep, he just can’t transition from what he’s focusing on to this deep conversation.”

There is no right or wrong in these differences but instead they come from how we are individually created. Instead of expecting a certain responce, Erin encourages us to learn from each other.

“The great news is that, as a woman, I don’t have to judge that, but just simply understand that’s how his brain is wired; it’s different. So often we end up judging these differences. But the beauty of it is how much balance the differences that we have bring to the relationship.”

We are each responsible for our own expectations, and how the other person is responding to meet them. We can look at the other person not through a dark lens, but a clear lens of understanding who they are in both gender and personality.

When we begin to appreciate those differences and allow Christ to be the source of our fulfillment, we can give out of abundance and respond with humility that renders grace.

Erin Smalley works alongside her husband at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, CO, where her family makes their home. She has also published numerous articles for ParentLifeHomeLife, and Marriage Partnership magazines.

Dr. Greg Smalley serves as executive director of Marriage and Family Formation at Focus on the Family. In this role, he develops and oversees initiatives that prepare individuals for marriage, strengthen and nurture existing marriages and help couples in marital crises.

Key Scripture: John 15:5

Featured Songs: All About Love – Steven Curtis Chapman; Eye of the Storm – Ryan Stevenson; Deeper – Meredith Andrews

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