Every Great Love Story is a Never-ending Conversation
I’m in complete agreement with Winston Churchill when he said this about his wife: “My most brilliant achievement was my ability to persuade my wife to marry me.” But even though we write and speak on marriage and have been married for more than forty-seven years, we have a high maintenance marriage. We are both communicators, but when it comes to communicating with each other, we are sometimes like strangers passing in the night. We are very different from each other and tend to drive each other crazy. All our marriage, Cathy has wanted me to talk more with her from the heart. She craves emotional connection on a different level than I do.
Here is what we have found with communication in the empty nest. It’s a time to either recover from some of the poor habits of communication with your spouse or repeat them. What would it look like for you to unlearn some poor habits? Here is a challenge to keep in front of you: every great love story is a never-ending conversation. For Cathy and me, we had to learn to create dedicated, nonnegotiable time to talk and listen.
Dedicated times to talk and listen don’t just happen. You must make them happen. I know a couple who each commute to work. They leave at the same time every day and call each other as they drive twenty minutes to work. One couple told me that when the kids were in the house, they took fifteen minutes after dinner just to sit on their love seat and reconnect. Now in the empty nest, they continue that practice. Some people walk their dog together, others do a coffee date. Not every conversation is breathtaking, but it is part of a continuous conversation that deepens a relationship. Too often the television, computer, social media, and other distractions break apart the needed emotional commitment. Do you really need to watch another news program? Isn’t spending some time with your spouse much more rewarding?