One of the toughest skills I’ve had to learn in my marriage is effective communication. I feel like I learn something new every day, but I learned one of the most important lessons within 24 hours of my wedding. Kara and I had arrived in a small town where we were honeymooning; we were getting settled in our hotel, and I was going to explore the town while Kara took a nap. I even offered to bring back lunch, thinking the trip would take me about thirty minutes.
Once I got into the town I started thinking of all the places we could go throughout our week, and so I started stopping into shops and asking the locals for romantic spots that only they knew about. I got some great information, and I was really excited about the plans I made, but in the course of this romantic adventure I lost track of time. My 30-minute trip turned into three hours. Kara and I only had one cell phone, and so I wasn’t able to let her know what was holding me up. As I walked up to our hotel door, the thought crossed my mind, “I wonder if Kara’s been worried.” The weeping, hyperventilating newly married woman who answered the door let me know.
For me, when someone is late, even by hours, I think that they must be held up by something. When my wife is expecting someone who is late, even by thirty minutes or less, she assumes he’s been murdered. She’s what you call a worrier.
Once my wife stopped crying, and after she forgave me for bringing home gas station sandwiches for lunch (of all the cool places I found a sandwich shop wasn’t included), we had a long discussion about what needs to be communicated and when. I learned that an important part of any relationship is communicating in a way the other appreciates. For example, I might not be worried when I’m late, but that’s not really the point. It’s a lesson I’m still learning, but when I do it well I know that it’s a sign of my love, and that my wife can rest a little easier.
What about you? How has your romantic partner changed the way you communicate?