Trying to communicate with your spouse can be difficult when he thinks like a waffle and your speaking like spaghetti. So what do you do? I have taken one of my devotions from “God’s Purpose For Every Woman; A P31 Devotional Book” in order to share with you a game my husband and I teach in our marriage class. It’s a great way to break the tension. Once you learn how to play “Beep-Beep” and then teach it to someone else. Oh, yeah…dont’ forget to share with us how it worked for you!
Communication is like dancing the tango. It takes two. However, just because you communicate your thoughts to someone doesn’t mean they will be understood. The person I have the hardest time communicating with is my spouse. Sometimes it seems that men really do come from Mars and women are from Venus! We simply communicate differently.
My husband and I began learning about good communication skills when we agreed to teach a marriage class. To communicate clearly you must listen, ask questions, and then repeat back what you heard the other person say. Sounds easy enough, right?
Most of the time, couples are not listening to what the other is saying, but rather thinking up their defense and then sharing it loudly. In order to teach the class, and ourselves, how to use these techniques, we developed a game called, “Beep-Beep.” We discovered that practicing good communication skills is as easy as ordering a Big-Mac at McDonalds.
It is easy to play the game. It only takes a little imagination and willingness to play by the rules. However, before we begin, let’s review the process of ordering fast food.
Before placing your order at any drive-in window, your car rolls over a wire that sounds “Beep-Beep” inside of the restaurant informing them they have a customer. Then, the happy employee acknowledges you. “May I take your order?”
“Yes, thank you. I would like a Big-Mac with fries and a Diet Coke to balance the calories, please.” You state clearly.
The cheerful employee repeats and clarifies your order. “You would like a Big-Mac with fries and a Diet Coke. Is this correct?” “Yes, it is.” you confirm with mouth-watering excitement.
Likewise, the process is the same when communicating with your partner. To gain your spouse’s attention, drive over beside them in your imaginary car and say, “Beep-Beep.” This signals to the other person that you need their full attention without interruption. Once you have “placed your order” by making your thoughts known, your partner happily repeats your statement back word for word just like the employee at McDonald’s. Then your spouse asks, “Is this correct?” to clarify they have heard you properly. If so, the pay off is you have successfully made your thoughts known without fuss or fight.
This has become a regular means of communication for my husband and me. Sometimes while I’m reading a book, my honey will sit down beside me and say, “Beep-Beep.” Immediately I know there’s an issue he needs to discuss. Other times I’ve stepped in front of the TV and sounded my horn to gain his attention.
Approaching you partner with “Beep-Beep” is a great way to break the ice and let them know, “I want to talk heart-to-heart.” Staying within these guidelines allows each person a turn to speak, the assurance of being heard, and the satisfaction of communicating with success.
With this method, you don’t have to wait until Venus is in alignment with Mars to talk to your spouse. You now have the skills to approach your partner, sound your horn, and order up some good conversation. Play by the rules, and you’ll always get what you order- clear communication!