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The importance of hearing to your spouse

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How many times has a spouse had to say “you don’t listen to me” in some form or another. It doesn’t really matter how it is said, it means the same. One spouse or the other is just not feeling heard. If a spouse is listening, attentive listening that is, then they have implemented several moving parts, if you will. Listening is an active process by which we make sense of, assess and respond to what we hear. The listen process involves 5 parts: receiving, understanding, evaluating, remembering and responding.

Be careful not to sound like your telling you spouse what you think they mean. Putting word in someone’s mouth is only a reflection of what your feelings are telling you your hearing, more than likely, that will not be accurate. If possible keep your feelings in check, feelings are usually what sparks the fight and then no one is listening. Listening is a skill of critical significance in all aspects of our lives--from maintaining our personal relationships, to getting our jobs done, to taking notes in class, to figuring out which bus to take to the airport.

Regardless of how we're engaged with listening, it's important to understand that listening involves more than just hearing the words that are directed at us. Listening is an active process by which we make sense of, assess, and respond to what we hear. This also means to not make assumptions. You can repeat and paraphrase to insure you getting it straight in your head. The big thing is to ask if what you are hearing is accurate.

Listening is a skill that is important because it helps us learn and understand different things. Usually, a person who listens properly is able to react appropriately to a particular situation or towards a particular person. Contrary to popular belief your spouse is not always talking just hear themselves. A key point not mentioned yet that vital to a marriage is listing with your heart, again, what your feeling may not be true.

A quote from “I speak because I know my needs; I speak with hesitation because I know not yours. My words come from my life's experiences; your understanding comes from yours. Because of this, what I say, And what you hear, may not be the same. So if you will listen carefully, Not only with your ears, but with your eyes and with your heart, maybe somehow we can communicate.”

Would it be safe to say that we allow our experiences to manifest feelings and feelings to manifest responses? We act upon raw emotion, shut down our listening then react with unhealthy, over the top words and behaviors. That’s when our communication implodes and we stop talking each other. Next, the opportunity to resolve any conflict dissipates.

Many a marriage has unraveled because this very thing. So what might ineffective listening look like? Why are people such poor listeners when it is such an important skill in developing and maintaining relationships? First, there is the habit of "tuning out," which involves the processes of selective attention and selective perception. You hear what you want to hear and screen out what you don't. When your spouse what you to listen, please do, it is just simple respect for one another.

Learning to attentively listen to your spouse will open up an entirely new level of intimacy and stronger love for each other. This has to be an important characteristic that you desire for your marriage, right? The more you practice active listening, the more apparent it becomes that words don’t really describe things nearly as well as they describe our relationship to them.

This is where misunderstanding comes from. In our rush to communicate we often hear the words, but not the heart of what is being said. Slowing down and paying full attention to the people you love gives you the chance to heal and connect in a way that mere speaking cannot. It’s not always just about what your spouse is saying, just as important, it’s about what their feeling. It you feel like your spouse is talking AT you ask yourself…what feeling is he or she trying to convey?

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