One necessary skill throughout seasons of your marriage

It’s a challenge to be married, period. And I know it’s not easy for my husband to be married to a relationship therapist. Throughout seasons of my marital history and years of hearing inside stories of couples, I believe there’s one necessary skill to know how to be your partner’s hero.

That skill can all be summed up in one word that begins with the letter “L”, LISTEN.

For example, my husband and I are just as imperfect as any couple. Although, I must say, he is my hero. Yet, we all know, with as much movement, change, and seasons of our marriages, the title of “hero” can be variable with us all.

It’s not easy being married to a relationship therapist.

I’ve never been married to one, but my husband and others have said it’s not easy. Although he and I have been married nearly nine years, I have more than 36 years of marital experience.

Not only have I spent my entire adult life trying to make marriage work, I’ve studied it, gotten my degrees around it, professionally developed it, and practically eat, sleep, and breathe efforts into creating and nurturing healthy relationships.

The challenge is this. My husband has been a single man most of his adult life. You can only imagine what it might be like for him to be married to a professional relationship therapist.

Your challenges may be different than ours. But we all admire couples who’ve become each other’s heroes throughout the years and seasons of life.

Whether you’re a newlywed or share years of history together, it still takes the “L” word to become your partner’s hero. You may be married to a spouse who is an educator, pastor, doctor, entrepreneur, politician, attorney, health professional, coach, or business owner. It still takes the “L” word. It’s the ability to listen to become your partner’s hero.

An Example of How to Be Your Partner’s Hero

My husband and I sat through another relationship therapist’s office. While we addressed a difficult issue, he did an amazing thing in the moment. He stayed with me during a heart-felt, yet difficult dialogue. He could have walked away. But he stayed.

A short youtube video called, “It’s Not About The Nail” shows a couple on a couch, struggling to communicate. When the guy points out that she has a nail in her head, she reacts.

She just wants him to listen. Her partner tries so hard to just listen as she talks about her headaches, and snagged sweaters, and how difficult it is for her. She just can’t understand.

He struggles to avoid fixing her problem. Instead, he tries hard to listen empathically and give her loving eye contact.

That’s what my husband did for me. Only I didn’t have a nail in my head.

The most remarkable feeling we can ever have as human beings is for another to listen.

I believe we’re designed by God for deep emotional connection in our marriages. When our spouse hears our heart-felt longings and desires, our love tank becomes full. We feel felt. Our feeling felt by our spouse makes us realize we’re not alone. We’re able to listen and appreciate differences.

Listen Your Way Into Becoming Your Partner’s Hero.

  • If what you’re hearing from your spouse seems as crazy as a nail in her head, instead just listen.
  • If you’re on the verge of telling her what the problem is, instead just listen.
  • When it takes every ounce of your being to refrain from fixing, instead just listen.

You’ll soon discover that the nail is something much deeper than what the cute video clip shows. It takes a willingness to understand. Be willing to assume your spouse makes sense, even if it looks like a silly nail to you. Allow those crazy feelings to be heard. Those “unrealistic” feelings are likely to be replaced with remarkable feelings of connection with you.

Continue Listening Your Way Into Becoming Your Partner’s Hero.

Our lives are always changing and our love tanks need daily filling. This requires a skilled habit of listening. Seeking to understand.

When our love tank is full we have motivation throughout the day. We have a sparkle in our eyes for each other. Our differences are not so threatening. We laugh and play. For my husband and I, we dance.

And it’s not about the nail.

Questions to Ponder

How full (or empty) is your love tank now?

What can you do to make sure you listen?

What’s the next step for you?

The skill of listening doesn’t come natural for most of us. Consider the next step for you to create connection beyond conflict and be your partner’s hero.


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