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Improving communication-ideas needed

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Once again last night my dh surprised me with a bombshell of sorts at the worst time. Details are not important, but I admit I was really angry. He claims he told me last summer these critical details but have no memory of them or of him telling me-and believe me, it is something I would have remembered.


This is not the fist time we have not communicated well over very important details. I don't believe it is deliberate on his part. He just isn't a communicator. He has come a very long way over our marriage however. Me, well, I probably over communicate IYKWIM.


Now that I am a sahm I feel like I know too little of what is happening outside of my box. The last 4 years have been tough with 2 special needs kids who have had a lot of medical issues and educational issues. Dh has taken over finances so I barely know what is happening there-it happened gradually because as I focused more on the kids I focused less on the finances. I actually had to ask him how much money he makes with each paycheck last week because I never knew what changed when the new owner bought the company he works for 2 years ago.


Anyway, I know we really need to communicate better so both knows what the other is doing or trying to do. We don't have money for date nights-the big killer there is the cost of childcare. We have tried trading children with other families but that has never worked for us. He works 12 hours a day easily. When he comes home we have always allowed a late bedtime for the kids so he can spend time with them. Now though by the time the kids go to bed at 10 I am exhausted and just want to go to bed as well. Or we both stay up only to fall asleep on the couch without talking. Weekends right now are busy with sports and church, soon it will include yard work as well.


He doesn't answer my emails, and I don't know how often he actually opens his personal email at work. He really isn't supposed to read personal emails at work anyway.


We were talking some in the mornings before he left for work but now dd3 has started waking very early. Even with that, important details or decisions I was never included in because he forgot, or didn't think to mention it, or so on. I believe he is honest about this. I think sometimes he has delayed telling me things just because I will be angry though. Which just makes me angrier.


How do we communicate better? Is there like a checklist of things to cover? If we had one of those maybe? If your spouse is not a natural communicator, how do you make sure you are knowing what you need to know?

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Good for you for wanting to take some positive action!! I know only too well how challenging this is - I am also married to someone who is not a natural communicator!


The thing that worked best for us is to set aside 10-15 minutes most days of the week just for us. We usually had coffee together in the morning, but really, it could be whatever works for you! The most important thing is that children are not allowed. They can learn to respect Mommy & Daddy's time!! It's important for them to see you guarding your time together.


Someone made an excellent post the other day, and she used the phrase "guarding our Us" or something like that - anyway, I really liked the phrase. Maybe someone else will link that post b/c it was exceptional. You have to guard your Us!!


Send your 3yo back to his room, or let him play somewhere else - it will be difficult for a few days, but worth it.


An important thing about this time for me was that it wasn't a time for me to hit my dh up about everything I perceived to be wrong in our relationship, or any other complaints. It was just time to connect - how was your day yesterday - what's on your agenda today - I did this yesterday - have a good day, dear -


Because we had that time set aside, our communication really improved..


Hope this is helpful in some way.





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Keep a small notebook for him to jot down things he needs to talk to you about. You could do the same...


When he gets home the FIRST thing you do is take 15 and trade notebooks. He reads yours... you discuss. You read his... you discuss.


Still takes discipline, though.

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:grouphug::grouphug: to you.


Ahhh, I'm the bad communicator in our home. :( I handle the finances, schedules, activities, etc, and I don't get all information out to dh.


Like your dh, I don't intentionally NOT tell dh things. Usually, I think I've told everyone or I just forget to tell dh.


Like your home, we don't set aside time to discuss important info. The kids, the activities, meals, tiredness, etc seem to get in the way.


Ann's suggestions are great. We used to have time to talk right after dh got home, but with his schedule now, we have let that time slide. Dh and I *need* that US time.

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We're working on the communication thing here in our home, too. It definitely isn't easy, and I don't have a lot of answers.


Something that has really helped us to keep schedules and activities sorted, however, is Google calendar. We both have an online calendar through Google, and have shared those calendars with one another. Every activity that he, the kids, or I do is on those calendars. It takes time to keep it updated, but it has made a world of difference!



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I believe he is honest about this. I think sometimes he has delayed telling me things just because I will be angry though. Which just makes me angrier.



I'm a guy, so this part is what jumped out at me...I don't know a thing about your marriange, so take this for what it's worth; if it doesn't apply, then never mind...


Somehow, I think you need to get across the idea to him that you trust him and have complete confidence in him...AND that you feel left out and/or hurt by him making uni-lateral decisions without your input. He also need to see by example that you can accept difficult news or updates without getting angry. Again, speaking as a guy, disappointing your wife can be a HUGE fear factor and lead to all sorts of wacky behavior...he also may 'perceive' that your anger is dis-respectful to him, and men crave respect from their wives like oxygen...just like women crave undying love and affection from their husbands.


If this was going on in my marriage, my DW sitting down with me with a calm smile and just fortifying me with words, like, I am so grateful for you...you are so intelligent...you always try to do what's best for our family. Closely followed up by a gentle, "can you tell me something about what's going on with XYZ?" and then followed up by, "Oh. OK." without a judgement or an angry response, even if it's justified...MAYBE you'll get better results, as YOU train HIM that it's safe for him to give you information...


A man bolstered by unwavering respect from his wife can do amazing things.


I'm not justifying what he might have done, BTW, just offering a thought how you can change the dynamic...Of course, you'll need to figure out the proper style that will work in your marriage.



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