Communication in marriage--let's put our heads together!
Note: every relationship is different. Our marriages and especially our roles as wife and mother are related, but not identical, to each other. So no hurtful assumptions, "Men always . . . " or "Husbands never . . ."
The best thing for opening communication in my marriage has been family council. Josh and I set aside Sunday evenings to have an open session. Anything can be discussed or planned. Notes are kept. Our basic outline is as follows:
Review the week and journal anything of interest
Review goals and resolutions (week, month, long-term)
Set or revise goals and resolutions
Next week's schedule
How can we help each other next week?
What can we do to help the kids learn?
This helps us in our goal of "being one" in marriage. It gives us a safe space to discuss more difficult issues we may be facing. If anything comes up during the week that might be a hard conversation to have, or if we're struggling to be kind to each other during a discussion, we can always table it for Sunday night by making a note in our journal.
I have one more note, and it echoes Michelle's comment on a former post. NEVER underestimate stress! Your husband may not realize he's stressed until the pressure is off; he might not be aware that stress or even simply being very busy is affecting his moods, or his ability to sleep, or his interest in you or in the children.
Wives, be kind to your husbands! Remember that there are unique burdens they shoulder, and their drives to care for their families and to do good are a gift from God.
Please chime in with your own advice in the comments.