Have you ever been asked a serious question that you were hesitant to answer because it was uncomfortable? It wasn’t that you felt awkward as much as answering it would call into question something you said or did. My dad was a master at this. He would say or do something that was hurtful or unkind. But when he was confronted, he then tried to turn into a joke and laugh it off. It always felt dismissive and never built closeness, which it never does.

When our spouse confronts us about an issue or wants to talk about something serious that we don’t necessarily want to discuss, it is easy to use the same technique my dad used and try to humor our way out of the conversation.

Now if your goal is to keep building the wall higher between you and your mate, then this technique – joking and sarcasm – will work fabulously. However, if you are wanting to tear down walls, this is not the way to do it. Intimate conversations and honestly owning our stuff when confronted, removes bricks from the wall and builds intimacy.

As we have seen in this six part series, there are a number of ways that we build walls – without a lot of work. But usually if we are married, we never set out to build walls. Therefore, it is only by being intentional in our actions that we can begin to dismantle the walls we have created and begin to build bridges of understanding. I hope you will use these strategies. I promise you – it is a much more fun and satisfying way to live.