Yes, it may sound bogus, but to truly understand your spouse, you’ll want to overcommunicate your needs (even if you’re running a business together).
As a new wife (over 13 years ago), I thought my new husband would know what I needed emotionally. We knew each other for about ten years before marriage, so I was sure he knew how to meet those emotional needs.
After being disappointed with my unmet needs, I recall grudgingly telling him and even embarrassed that I HAD to even tell him. But, what I soon learned through counseling and other mature wives is that clear communication of even my emotional needs is needed.
I was shocked. But I quickly adjusted and followed suit.
Over the years, both my needs and his have changed. Depending on the season, I may need something different than before, and likewise with him. We’ve got a rhythm down (for the most part), and it’s been a healthy journey. Being healthy doesn’t mean it’s been without challenges, but we’ve had the tools and support to overcome them. Thank the Lord.
There have been times when he, too, has stayed quiet and, when he couldn’t take it anymore, would blurt out what he needed. It’s not a healthy approach from any perspective. We’ve grown and work to overcommunicate whenever possible.
Here’s what we’ve been learning over the years:
- Proximity doesn’t mean intimacy: We run a business together and are near each other 24/7, but we can’t substitute each other’s presence for closeness and expect to fulfill needs that way.
- Self-Awareness is essential: If we’re not clear on what we need emotionally, how will we be able to articulate it? Expecting my spouse to understand is unfair and unrealistic without communicating my needs.
- Delayed Self-Awareness Is A Win, Too: Sometimes you don’t know what you might need until you get it(or don’t). For example, I recently moderated an event at Arts High in Newark, and my husband couldn’t attend to support me. Although I didn’t need him to attend, I did need his encouragement and support leading up to it. So it wasn’t until I didn’t feel supported that I could share that with him.
- Give Examples! This is gold. It may seem like a lot of work (and it may be), but sharing specific examples of what you need makes it easy for your spouse to understand and apply quickly! That may be something like, “it would make me feel supported if you said….”
- Talk About Supporting Each Other Daily: Add a ‘how can I support you?” to your daily legacy meetings (even if you’re not in business together, legacy meetings are a powerful asset).
These practical steps have supported our emotional health in marriage and business.
If you need help implementing a marriedpreneur legacy meeting, download our free Marriedpreneur Operating Systems Checklist Here.
We’re rooting for you!