Marriages are built on a foundation of trust, however time is the structure by which marital bonds are formed. Consider the earliest periods of a relationship where two individuals, driven by the power of attraction and adventure, ultimately prove their commitment, dedication and devotion to one another by their prioritization of time together. They make the time necessary to discuss their day, share their feelings for each other, and engage in fun and romantic activities. I call these initial attempts at bonding the “first things.”
Healthy marriages don’t just happen. They’re the outcome of principles spouses have consistently put in place over time. One of these essential principles is making time to communicate and explore what is taking place in their respective hearts and minds. This principle may seem overly simplistic, nevertheless its impact in helping build a vibrant marriage is profound.
When married couples argue, it's often a failed attempt at reaching for one another. A primary reason lies in the use of criticism. Husbands and wives may unknowingly assume that pointing out where and how their spouse has failed will somehow lead to a resolution of the core issues they're trying to address, or even bring them closer together somehow. Unfortunately, this approach tends to have the opposite effect.
Contrary to the popular notion, time doesn't heal all wounds. Rose Kennedy put it this way: "It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens, but it is never gone." Her statement precisely illustrates what I see married couples experience when the trust between them is lost.
Healthy marital communication doesn't simply happen. It takes the use of certain skill sets, such as curiosity, to help us begin experiencing a more fulfilled marriage. This post takes a closer look into the application of curiosity, its impact on the development of healthy communication that serves to build trust and intimacy within a marriage, and it's relevance to the application our Christian faith on a daily basis with our spouse.