Daily Communication

Bruce and I have been married almost two years. We were best friends who got married and, while we do have our hard days, we have a blast together! Like any married couple, we have had to make adjustments on the way. We thought we were great at communication because we were good friends for years and even dated long distance. But after we got married, we started noticing a pattern of frustration when it came to weeknights & weekends.

At the end of a long week I was ready to wake up early to go to the farmers market. Maybe even get all dressed up and eat at a cute new eatery and have a photo shoot downtown. We would grab the rest of the groceries together and then hit the park with all our friends for a BBQ & sand volleyball. Coffee dates, shopping, theater, Church, Community group, and frozen yogurt. I wanted to pack everything into my days off.

At the end of a long week Bruce was ready for a slower pace. He wanted to sleep in, make breakfast at home, play video games, read a book on the back porch, grill out, play a game, and watch Netflix. Work on house projects, nap, build, hike, and rest. He wanted to do less to rest up for the new week.

It is pretty obvious to see where our differences lie, but each weekend we would just wing it and end up doing it all or doing nothing. We both wanted to love each other well, so we just went along with whoever was more vocal. No matter what happened, we would both end up feeling frustrated and defeated and not even know why.

I am not sure when this vocab worked its way into our conversations, but Bruce started asking me what my hopes were for the weekend. I am sure it was in a moment of desperation where he blurted out “What are your hopes & desires for the weekend?!” and I answered and asked him the same question. It was a question that came from his youth when his mother would always ask what his hopes were for break and she would share her hopes. It helped their family learn to express their expectations and be able to work together as a family. That weekend was better and we noticed it.

So we started making it part of our normal communication and before we knew it, we were asking it all the time. I would get home from work and Bruce would ask me my hopes for the night OR we would be laying in bed and I would ask Bruce what his hopes were for tomorrow OR during dinner Thursday night we would ask each other about hopes for the weekend.

THIS WAS HUGE. and as silly as it sounds, that little question helped our communication so much. You see, the problem was that we would make all these plans in our heads and then get to the weekend and expect them to happen. We would get frustrated that the other one didn’t have the same plans or wasn’t reacting the way we had planned. We would brush it off as the never ending introvert/ extrovert battle and try to do things our own way. We were hurt but unable to vocalize why and we realized it was because we both did not have the same excitement & energy in our weekend plans.

When we took the time to answer this question before anything began, we had time to really think about what we wanted and hear what the other person wanted. It gave us enough time in advance that we wouldn’t get defensive at the thought of our plans being so different. And together right there we would work out a compromise.

We would sleep in but go out for brunch. Then come home and Bruce would work on house projects and I would meet a girl friend for coffee. We would have a couple over for dessert and games. The next day we would go to church, come home and have computer time that afternoon ( I blog, he video games). Make dinner, go on an after dinner hike, and then watch a movie together.

It sounds so simple and really it is but it took us months (like years) to learn how to do best! Here are some quick tips that I have learned on the way:

1. ASK: Make sure to ask this question soon enough to plan according to the answers you hear. That time frame changes depending on what you are looking forward to – date night, lunch, evenings off, weekends, vacations, etc.

2. PLAN: Together come to a decision that includes hope from both of you. It might not be every hope every time but make sure that you both are doing something you had hoped for.

3. STICK TO IT: When you make a plan together you start looking toward the night off or the weekend with the same mind. You know the plan is sleeping in on Saturday so you don’t have to be surprised or frustrated when he does. You use the time as extra rest or to catch up on sending letters to friends. And he can sleep in knowing that when he wakes you won’t be in his face about how you had been waiting for him to wake up to go to the farmers market.

I know what it feels like to be overwhelmed knowing that I married my opposite and frustrated that we have different minds. But I also know how wonderful it is to marry my opposite and have someone who shows me a whole new side of things. When you work together and ask the right questions, those overwhelming moments can be less and those fun moments can be more!

WHAT HELPS YOU COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR SPOUSE? 

Author: Oak & Oats

  • This is great advice. I know the same happens with me and my husband, and we came to the realization once that although we are so in sync, we can’t know what the other person wants unless we say it. So we do! And it works a lot better when you can fearlessly communicate what you want and respectfully listen to your partner–whether it’s for weekend plans or anything else in life.

  • This is great advice. I know the same happens with me and my husband, and we came to the realization once that although we are so in sync, we can't know what the other person wants unless we say it. So we do! And it works a lot better when you can fearlessly communicate what you want and respectfully listen to your partner–whether it's for weekend plans or anything else in life.

  • This is such great advice. We have also been learning a lot about how our expectations can set us up for an argument, especially if we do not communicate them. Thanks for sharing!

    • You are so welcome! It is always a journey to see how you best communicate!

  • This is such great advice. We have also been learning a lot about how our expectations can set us up for an argument, especially if we do not communicate them. Thanks for sharing!

  • Amber Hurkmans

    This is great advice! My husband and I always end up having terrible weekends/evenings because we want different things to happen. Thanks so much for helping me realize what the problem actually is!

    • Amber! Oh, my heart rejoices that we are not the only ones and that my story can help you! We couldn’t articulate why we were upset every weekend but when we started vocalizing our dreams & hopes before the weekend we realized we both had expectations that were not being met! Just talking about it helped us both do some of the things we wanted but most importantly, have the same expectations when it came to the weekend because we discussed them (and not imagined them in our own separate minds!)

  • Amber Hurkmans

    This is great advice! My husband and I always end up having terrible weekends/evenings because we want different things to happen. Thanks so much for helping me realize what the problem actually is!

  • This is GOLDEN!! When my husband had been married about six months, we started asking “How can I love you well this week?” and sometimes it was really simple requests from my husband like, give me grace when I forget to fold the laundry in the dryer. Other times I told him I really needed a date night with him. Communication is definitely even more important in marriage, even if you think you have it down, being intentional like this and asking each other hopes and expectations is SUCH a good idea!

    • Yeah! For sure. I feel like they are similar questions. I have a hard time answering the love one though because I am trying to think of something that he can do to love me and I feel like I am just coming up with random things to answer the question. But when he asks me my hopes, It is easier to respond because it is about me and what I had wanted to do and not about what I can make him do for me. Does that make sense?

      I think for so long we were using the the how can I love you question and I would be like “Oh, I am fine. I know you love me” But that wasn’t helping us talk about expectations or dreams. When we asked about our dream plans for the weekend we could articulate our expectations better because it is an easier question to answer! HAHA.

      I think it is good to ask them both!

  • This is GOLDEN!! When my husband had been married about six months, we started asking "How can I love you well this week?" and sometimes it was really simple requests from my husband like, give me grace when I forget to fold the laundry in the dryer. Other times I told him I really needed a date night with him. Communication is definitely even more important in marriage, even if you think you have it down, being intentional like this and asking each other hopes and expectations is SUCH a good idea!

  • This sounds, (almost uncannily so), like our life. And it’s funny but I can’t remember exactly how we ended up talking to each other in a similar way! After five years we know a lot more about how to communicate with one another, but we still have SO much to learn. I’m in big favour of direct questions – the holy grail to a happy relationship!

    • I so agree Emily! I am surprised to see so many others who know exactly what it is like!

  • This sounds, (almost uncannily so), like our life. And it's funny but I can't remember exactly how we ended up talking to each other in a similar way! After five years we know a lot more about how to communicate with one another, but we still have SO much to learn. I'm in big favour of direct questions – the holy grail to a happy relationship!

  • Me and my husband are complete opposites too! But unlike you guys we are on the same page when it comes to weekends, we pack it in because we both work full time and are always tired when we get home on week nights! I love your solution, we can always work on communication. It’s important to ask meaningful direct questions and make time to talk everyday.

    oursweetthingcalledlife.blogspot.com

  • jessica church

    Me and my husband are complete opposites too! But unlike you guys we are on the same page when it comes to weekends, we pack it in because we both work full time and are always tired when we get home on week nights! I love your solution, we can always work on communication. It's important to ask meaningful direct questions and make time to talk everyday.

    oursweetthingcalledlife.blogspot.com

  • Great advice Elizabeth!!!

  • Great advice Elizabeth!!!

  • I absolutely love this advice! Steven and I quite opposites on certain things so I totally understand the need for communicating through those differences. I love the idea of asking what each other’s hopes are for the up coming week, weekend, day, whatever! That makes it a lot easier to both be on the same page!

    • For real! And it really is a game changer when you have the same plans/ ideas for how the weekend is going to go than having separate ideas!

  • I absolutely love this advice! Steven and I quite opposites on certain things so I totally understand the need for communicating through those differences. I love the idea of asking what each other's hopes are for the up coming week, weekend, day, whatever! That makes it a lot easier to both be on the same page!

  • this is so good! great advice. my husband and I are exactly like you guys. After we’ve had a couple days of non-stop socializing the first free time we have I always have to remind myself that he needs the time to recharge. but really, its the communication that helps us hash it out the most!

    • Yes! Because it is not like we are always doing things we hate for each other, we just like to know what is coming so we can plan on it and we know when we can do the things we hoped to do!

  • Megan Sybrant

    this is so good! great advice. my husband and I are exactly like you guys. After we've had a couple days of non-stop socializing the first free time we have I always have to remind myself that he needs the time to recharge. but really, its the communication that helps us hash it out the most!

  • I loved this!!! So helpful and something I’m putting in use like… Yesterday! Lol! LG and I are opposites too!! I’m the extrovert and he’s the introvert! You explained the frustration that can be there so well! Thanks for sharing and for the tips to make it better.

    • Love that we are not the only ones and that you are encouraged from our story!! We couldn’t articulate why we were upset every weekend but when we started vocalizing our dreams & hopes before the weekend we realized we both had expectations that were not being met! Just talking about it helped us both do some of the things we wanted but most importantly, have the same expectations when it came to the weekend because we discussed them (and not imagined them in our own separate minds!)

      • Yes, very true! I loved the idea that you do stuff together but then also are ok with doing things separate. (him coming home and you going to lunch with a friend) I just always have to remember that it literally drains LG to be in social gatherings and he needs that recoup time. I totally agree that communication is HUGE! 🙂

  • I loved this!!! So helpful and something I'm putting in use like… Yesterday! Lol! LG and I are opposites too!! I'm the extrovert and he's the introvert! You explained the frustration that can be there so well! Thanks for sharing and for the tips to make it better.

  • Yes, yes, yes. My husband and I have been married almost four years and I think we just figured this out this year. We've started doing this but I would have loved to have heard this when we first got married! It would have cut out three years of frustration! Hahaha. It's such a relief now to be able to communicate and plan together so that each of us feel rested after the weekend and ready for the next week.

  • I was so pumped when I saw this! I hadn’t even started reading it and I was so excited! I love the way you write! So so so fantastic! This inspired me so much to want to write about me and Tyler!

    • Samantha!!! Thanks so much for the sweet words! And yes, write about your man!

  • I was so pumped when I saw this! I hadn't even started reading it and I was so excited! I love the way you write! So so so fantastic! This inspired me so much to want to write about me and Tyler!

  • This is such such good advice. Even though we’re not married, I love being intentional in my communication with AJ…I figure its good practice to start now, right?! One of my favorite questions to ask is “how did i make you feel loved this week?”, and while the answers can sometimes be tough to hear, asking “how did i make you NOT feel loved this week?” is an equally important question to ask.

    • Yeah! For sure. We were focusing on communicating before we got married too. Our free time before always worked out perfectly because we wanted to see each other but when we got married it was a different kind of communication because you are always around that person!

      I feel like they are similar questions. I have a hard time answering the love one though because I am trying to think of something that he can do to love me and I feel like I am just coming up with random things to answer the question. But when he asks me my hopes, It is easier to respond because it is about me and what I had wanted to do and not about what I can make him do for me. Does that make sense?

      I think for so long we were using the the how can I love you question and I would be like “Oh, I am fine. I know you love me” But that wasn’t helping us talk about expectations or dreams. When we asked about our dream plans for the weekend we could articulate our expectations better because it is an easier question to answer! HAHA.

      But I think it is good to ask them both!

  • This is such such good advice. Even though we're not married, I love being intentional in my communication with AJ…I figure its good practice to start now, right?! One of my favorite questions to ask is "how did i make you feel loved this week?", and while the answers can sometimes be tough to hear, asking "how did i make you NOT feel loved this week?" is an equally important question to ask.

  • SFM

    Absolutely love this! My husband and I are the same way! I love to pack my weekends and he likes to take it easy. After getting frustrated with one another early on in the marriage, we started thinking about one another. I let him sleep in on Saturdays and this allows me to have some quiet time to myself. I can paint my nails, read some magazines or catch up on my favorite TV show! Then, when he gets up, we decide what we will do with the rest of our day! We really work to blend our visions for the rest of the weekend!

    • So great! I love that we are not the only ones who struggle with weekend plans!

      We couldn’t articulate why we were upset every weekend but when we started vocalizing our dreams & hopes before the weekend we realized we both had expectations that were not being met! Just talking about it helped us both do some of the things we wanted but most importantly, have the same expectations when it came to the weekend because we discussed them (and not imagined them in our own separate minds!)

  • Absolutely love this! My husband and I are the same way! I love to pack my weekends and he likes to take it easy. After getting frustrated with one another early on in the marriage, we started thinking about one another. I let him sleep in on Saturdays and this allows me to have some quiet time to myself. I can paint my nails, read some magazines or catch up on my favorite TV show! Then, when he gets up, we decide what we will do with the rest of our day! We really work to blend our visions for the rest of the weekend!

  • I love you guys and your differences and the way you communicate about them to each other. You are doing a great job, lady.

  • I love you guys and your differences and the way you communicate about them to each other. You are doing a great job, lady.

  • Yeah! For sure. I feel like they are similar questions. I have a hard time answering the love one though because I am trying to think of something that he can do to love me and I feel like I am just coming up with random things to answer the question. But when he asks me my hopes, It is easier to respond because it is about me and what I had wanted to do and not about what I can make him do for me. Does that make sense?

    I think for so long we were using the the how can I love you question and I would be like "Oh, I am fine. I know you love me" But that wasn't helping us talk about expectations or dreams. When we asked about our dream plans for the weekend we could articulate our expectations better because it is an easier question to answer! HAHA.

    I think it is good to ask them both!

  • Yeah! For sure. We were focusing on communicating before we got married too. Our free time before always worked out perfectly because we wanted to see each other but when we got married it was a different kind of communication because you are always around that person!

    I feel like they are similar questions. I have a hard time answering the love one though because I am trying to think of something that he can do to love me and I feel like I am just coming up with random things to answer the question. But when he asks me my hopes, It is easier to respond because it is about me and what I had wanted to do and not about what I can make him do for me. Does that make sense?

    I think for so long we were using the the how can I love you question and I would be like "Oh, I am fine. I know you love me" But that wasn't helping us talk about expectations or dreams. When we asked about our dream plans for the weekend we could articulate our expectations better because it is an easier question to answer! HAHA.

    But I think it is good to ask them both!

  • Amber! Oh, my heart rejoices that we are not the only ones and that my story can help you! We couldn't articulate why we were upset every weekend but when we started vocalizing our dreams & hopes before the weekend we realized we both had expectations that were not being met! Just talking about it helped us both do some of the things we wanted but most importantly, have the same expectations when it came to the weekend because we discussed them (and not imagined them in our own separate minds!)

  • So great! I love that we are not the only ones who struggle with weekend plans!

    We couldn't articulate why we were upset every weekend but when we started vocalizing our dreams & hopes before the weekend we realized we both had expectations that were not being met! Just talking about it helped us both do some of the things we wanted but most importantly, have the same expectations when it came to the weekend because we discussed them (and not imagined them in our own separate minds!)

  • HAHA. Thanks Megs!

  • Samantha!!! Thanks so much for the sweet words! And yes, write about your man!

  • Love that we are not the only ones and that you are encouraged from our story!! We couldn't articulate why we were upset every weekend but when we started vocalizing our dreams & hopes before the weekend we realized we both had expectations that were not being met! Just talking about it helped us both do some of the things we wanted but most importantly, have the same expectations when it came to the weekend because we discussed them (and not imagined them in our own separate minds!)

  • Thanks so much!

  • HAHA! Yes. We both work 40 hour weeks but recharge very differently!

  • Nat,
    I love this! It is so great to see and learn from each other!

  • You are so welcome! It is always a journey to see how you best communicate!

  • I so agree Emily! I am surprised to see so many others who know exactly what it is like!

  • For real! And it really is a game changer when you have the same plans/ ideas for how the weekend is going to go than having separate ideas!

  • Yes! Because it is not like we are always doing things we hate for each other, we just like to know what is coming so we can plan on it and we know when we can do the things we hoped to do!

  • Yes, very true! I loved the idea that you do stuff together but then also are ok with doing things separate. (him coming home and you going to lunch with a friend) I just always have to remember that it literally drains LG to be in social gatherings and he needs that recoup time. I totally agree that communication is HUGE! 🙂

  • I love this! Thank you for the honesty and the advice! 🙂 My husband and I have been married just about 4 months now, and I can relate to a lot you said in your post. Being best friends, I totally thought we had communication down pat – but, you never quite know everything about a person and their communication styles till you live with them! Ha. I’m also realizing that your expectations of what marriage is like/should be/could be are a really important thing to be aware of as a newlywed! Thank you for this post!

    Hannah Olson 🙂
    Just Bee | http://www.justbeeblog.com

  • Hannah Martel

    I love this! Thank you for the honesty and the advice! 🙂 My husband and I have been married just about 4 months now, and I can relate to a lot you said in your post. Being best friends, I totally thought we had communication down pat – but, you never quite know everything about a person and their communication styles till you live with them! Ha. I'm also realizing that your expectations of what marriage is like/should be/could be are a really important thing to be aware of as a newlywed! Thank you for this post!

    Hannah Olson 🙂
    Just Bee | http://www.justbeeblog.com

  • This is awesome! I am definitely emailing my husband this post. I had never really thought about it this way, but it totally makes sense. T

  • This is awesome! I am definitely emailing my husband this post. I had never really thought about it this way, but it totally makes sense. T

  • Love this and find so many similarities in it. Communication is SO important!

  • Love this and find so many similarities in it. Communication is SO important!

  • Such a great post. My hubs and I are complete opposites too so I understand this whole not meeting “unspoken” expectation thing. We have definitely gotten better but I love this clear approach to the whole thing 🙂

  • Kendra Castillo

    Such a great post. My hubs and I are complete opposites too so I understand this whole not meeting "unspoken" expectation thing. We have definitely gotten better but I love this clear approach to the whole thing 🙂

  • Great comments about communication. I think that I’ve learned it’s important to make time for my spouse. This sounds easy, but life gets so busy. But it’s important to talk to one another and check in, especially during those busy time.

  • Great comments about communication. I think that I've learned it's important to make time for my spouse. This sounds easy, but life gets so busy. But it's important to talk to one another and check in, especially during those busy time.

  • love this! 🙂 my husband is like you & i am like Bruce! so it is a tough balance sometimes! but i love the question you guys ask each other & need to adopt that practice!

  • love this! 🙂 my husband is like you & i am like Bruce! so it is a tough balance sometimes! but i love the question you guys ask each other & need to adopt that practice!

  • Such an adjustment to start taking into account someone else’s weekend desires into your weekend plans.

    • For reals! But it is so doable with a little communication and before thought!

  • Such an adjustment to start taking into account someone else's weekend desires into your weekend plans.

  • Fantastic!!!! Thank you!

    xoxo, “other” Oats 🙂

  • Fantastic!!!! Thank you!

    xoxo, "other" Oats 🙂

  • I am so glad you were encouraged! And Yes, twinning!!

  • For reals! But it is so doable with a little communication and before thought!

  • I love the “planning” idea. I think that since we both have so much going on, so often, we don’t really let the other one know what’s happening. I think if we really laid out everything before the week starts, it would be so much better! Thank you as always for a wonderful and thought-provoking post, lady 🙂 ~Jenna

    • I am glad it was encouraging and inspiring to you! It is just our lives on paper (or computer screens!)

  • I love the "planning" idea. I think that since we both have so much going on, so often, we don't really let the other one know what's happening. I think if we really laid out everything before the week starts, it would be so much better! Thank you as always for a wonderful and thought-provoking post, lady 🙂 ~Jenna

  • Visiting for the first time from Faith & Fellowship blog hop. What a great post. I love the question and need to start asking it of my husband on the weekend, too. Beautiful blog, too.

    • Thank you so much for the sweet words! I am glad to hear it was encouraging to you!

  • Amateur Nester

    Visiting for the first time from Faith & Fellowship blog hop. What a great post. I love the question and need to start asking it of my husband on the weekend, too. Beautiful blog, too.

  • Thanks so much for linking up with us at Faith & Fellowship this week & for your honest post! It was so good to read how you communicate in your marriage – I love the idea of asking & setting realistic expectations for the weekend ahead!

  • Thanks so much for linking up with us at Faith & Fellowship this week & for your honest post! It was so good to read how you communicate in your marriage – I love the idea of asking & setting realistic expectations for the weekend ahead!

  • This is GREAT. Sean and I have struggled with exactly the same thing, and have had to learn this lesson lately (we’re still trying to figure it out!). Our “weekends” are a little different, since neither of us work a mon-fri kind of job, so we try to plan out our evenings and Sunday afternoons to work. Like you and Bruce, we were best friends before marriage and also had a long-distance dating relationship for a period of time..;.this should be easy, right!? Thanks for the tips – it’s encouraging to know that other couples have to ask these questions too!

  • This is GREAT. Sean and I have struggled with exactly the same thing, and have had to learn this lesson lately (we're still trying to figure it out!). Our "weekends" are a little different, since neither of us work a mon-fri kind of job, so we try to plan out our evenings and Sunday afternoons to work. Like you and Bruce, we were best friends before marriage and also had a long-distance dating relationship for a period of time..;.this should be easy, right!? Thanks for the tips – it's encouraging to know that other couples have to ask these questions too!

  • yes! HAHA. I am glad it could encourage you!

  • yes! Thank you for hosting it! Always so fun!

  • Thank you so much for the sweet words! I am glad to hear it was encouraging to you!

  • I am glad it was encouraging and inspiring to you! It is just our lives on paper (or computer screens!)