Just in case y’all were curious…this post topic about communicating with a busy spouse was actually Barry’s idea. Barry is very busy and so am I. But that doesn’t mean we can skip the communication aspect of our relationship. It’s crucial to any healthy relationship – especially a marriage – to have consistent communication.
Barry: Today, we want to specifically address methods and ways of communicating with a busy spouse. Because despite what you might think, healthy communication doesn’t just mean talking. And it’s not just what works for you – we’re also going to think about what works best for your spouse.
Find the best method of communicating with your spouse.
Barry: My preferred method of communicating is Google Chat (Google Hangouts). I respect my employer and I don’t like to text from my phone all day. I generally try to stay away from all social apps and messaging apps on my phone while I’m at work.
But I’ve got two computer screens at my desk, so I can leave a tab open on my computer with my message conversation with Stacy so that if she needs me, it is a minimal distraction from my work to respond. I hear a little ding when she sends me a message and when I get a free minute, I can just open up the tab and see what she needs.
It’s a bit different when I’m on the road or traveling. In those cases I almost always use text or Marco Polo. When I’m driving in the car, I prefer to go the hands free route or use Marco Polo, but in a place like an airport, I might text.
What Works Best for Your Spouse?
Barry: In case y’all didn’t know, Stacy loves Marco Polo. But I’ll be honest…Marco Polo isn’t the best for me. Because she loves it and it’s her go-to means of communication, we do use it a lot. She doesn’t like phone calls at all. If me, her parents, her sister – if anyone ever calls Stacy, she instantly thinks something is wrong. So, we don’t use the actual telephone very often.
What is Marco Polo?
Stacy: A lot of y’all might not be familiar with the free video messaging app Marco Polo (this is not sponsored, just to be clear-LOL). I’ve been told it’s basically the uncool snapchat or snapchat for old people. But I personally love it!
It’s different from FaceTime where you both have to on a call and be present at the same time. With Marco Polo you send a live video message whenever you are free, and the contact you sent the message to can watch live or can come watch the video message whenever they are free. They don’t expire and there is no time limit!
It works best for me when I am busy in the kitchen. I just put my phone in the tripod stand and I can be chopping vegetables in the kitchen and chatting away. I do know some people complain that they don’t like Marco Polo because they don’t want to show their face on camera. But my true friends don’t mind seeing my face – makeup or no makeup.
Get to know how your spouse processes information.
Stacy: If y’all didn’t know this, I have a wee bit of a temper. But Barry is not easily set off. He can type something and I instantly read it in a different tone in my head. There are some times when we are talking on Google (his preferred method) and we have to switch to a different method because I misread his tone.
If I am trying to tell Barry too much at once, he shuts down. I can process all the things. Barry cannot. Sometimes I’m unloading verbal vomit on Barry – all my thoughts and ideas. But he can’t keep up. I have learned that if I have multiple things to tell Barry, it’s easier for me to send him 10 different emails with different subjects and tasks. He can pick a task as he has time.
Barry: I leave my house before 7:00 am most days and don’t get home until around 6:00 pm. Of our waking hours, I am pretty much gone most of them and that’s sad. But that’s the way it is for now. It’s very common that during the day she will send me emails to read during the day so then when I get home we can discuss them.
When I am sitting down and want to talk to Stacy (in person) but she is on her phone – I know cannot address her. She might be able to multitask in a lot of ways, but not when it comes to her phone, computer, etc. It’s like when you’re sitting behind someone at a stoplight who doesn’t realize the light turns green. It might just a few seconds of waiting but it seems like eternity. Stacy cannot listen to me until she is finished up on her phone.
Stacy: Right, if there is something important to say or share – do not speak while they are busy, especially on their phone. Yes, people can multitask, but it’s harder with technology for some reason. I encourage you to wait until you have their full attention if what you need to tell them is important.
You need to give your spouse your undivided attention at times!
Barry: Yes, we often get distracted by our phones, but that doesn’t mean we just accept it. No, sometimes we just need to put them down and give our spouses (or anyone we’re trying to communicate with) our complete, undivided attention. If you are communicating ONLY using written word like text or email, you need to make sure you take some time face to face. Face to face communication is a habit that’s fading fast in our modern age.
Enjoying your spouse is biblical!
Barry: You chose to marry this person, share your heart with them, and engage in actual conversation. You don’t want the only thing you share to be your responsibilities of parenting or household tasks. Sit down with your spouse and talk to them! Share your dreams, your vision for the future, what excites you, etc.
Stacy: Barry and I love to travel together because it gives us an opportunity to just be together and TALK. Good, old-fashioned conversation. Because we are away from home, we can relax and open up and connect with each other in communication without all the normal distractions.
Learning to communicate will require some communication about communicating.
Barry: Sounds like a riddle, but it’s true. What methods and ways work best for you? What works best for your spouse? Talk about what healthy communication would look like in your home and relationship and then do it!
Don’t let the day go by without reaching out to your spouse. Everyone has an extra 30 seconds to a minute to connect with the people they love – and this is especially true of the person you married. So make it happen!
What advice do you have for communicating with a busy spouse?