Now your first thought maybe – “Uh, we are both from the U.S., so what are you talking about?” Believe it or not, the communication between you and your spouse is actually impacted by your different homelands or your different families of origin. As I once heard Pastor Doug Olson explain, much like learning a foreign language, we cannot gain a complete understanding of how our spouse communicates without understanding some of the historical context, the unique dialect of the “mother tongue,” and some of the important traditions.
For example, your communication patterns have been influenced by your previous relationships – those with your parents, your siblings, and even previous marriages or dating relationships. At the same time, husbands and wives often speak different dialects or love languages. In other words, the giving of gifts may speak love to you but it is deeds of service that speak love to your husband or wife. Or it might be more along the lines of – in your family everybody just loudly spoke their minds but in your spouse’s nobody ever raised their voice. To do so indicated huge conflicts about to erupt. Finally, are those all-important traditions – what you did at mealtimes, where you went on vacations, or how you celebrated holidays.
All of these items can contribute to miscommunication. So, my suggestion to you today is to look for ways to better understand the “homeland” components that have contributed to the shaping of your spouse. Because when you are able to do so, the clarity and health of your communication is certain to improve. And isn’t that what you desire?