How can you get back to deep communication with one another?
This session was presented to Titus 2 Community’s Talk Live Tuesday on December 4, 2018. To watch the presentation, you can click the button below:
We will expect to answer
“What can you do when
* You don’t have deep talks like you used to?
* You don’t seem to have much to talk about?
* You find it hard to communicate deeply?”
Here’s a common scenario
When a couple first meet, their hearts are twitter pated. They find lots of things
to talk about and conversations can be shallow or very deep, light-hearted or
serious. But, after the couple has been together for a while, conversations are
no longer like that and it is often hard to find things to talk about beyond the daily
2. Some couples are fine talking about surface/shallow things and only get deeper
when there is a crisis or problems.
3. Others enjoy deeper conversations about life., whether personal or otherwise. They do so
4. Couples who are opposites typically have very different interests. They might find it hard
to engage each other in deeper conversations.
The dynamics of most couples experience
So, what’s going on?
1. Before marriage
a. Being new to one another opens opportunities for discovery. Curiosity, openness, acceptance, and love is at the heart of bonding and developing attachments.
b. There is a deep curiosity about the other person, so questions abound and conversations flourish.
c. You act differently.
You look into your partner’s eyes when talking.
You are genuinely kind.
You show gratitude for him or her.
You find what s/he likes and offer that from time to time.
You deliberately serve each other in big and small ways.
You become physically close (not sex) which leads to psychological closeness.
d. Physiologically, oxytocin (the love hormone) floods your body, making the
other person more attractive to you. Oxytocin and neuropeptides wash through your
body and brain. This is the feeling of romance - when your heart is twitterpated.
…love is the momentary upwelling of three tightly interwoven events: first, a sharing of one or more positive emotions between you and another; second, a synchrony between you and the other person’s biochemistry and behaviors; third, a reflected motive to invest in each other’s well-being that brings mutual care.
This love hormone literally draws you to the other person and motivates you to show care and concern through service. You should know, serving others promotes the feelings of love. Want to learn to love another? Begin serving that person! In serving another, you tend to be kinder, which increases the love hormone.
e. There is a natural desire to seek each other out, to serve and please each other in order to win each other’s affection and commitment.
f. There is a greater capacity to put up with each other’s idiosyncrasies, interests, and preferences. Often times, “love is blind” to these things.
g. Good eye contact is proven to be a key way to be in sync, in tune with each other.
h. You “get each other” When you and another truly connect, love reverberates between you are in sync and forecasting (able to “read” each other’s thoughts). For more on this, read
2. After marriage
a. The body produces oxytocin until a commitment is made to each other. This can last weeks to several months. It’s the biological way for us to become attracted and connect. Romantic feelings are made to get us together.
However, the romantic feelings made by oxytocin begin to subside the longer the relationship. This is when the sizzle begins to fizzle.
When passionate love fades, that’s when compassionate love needs to grow.
b. After you are married, that love/romantic feeling subsides quite a bit while other hormones kick in. These hormones bond us together physiologically. However, men have certain hormones that work with testosterone to motivate them to commit and protect. Women have other hormones that work with estrogen to commit and relate and to become mothers.
For additional insights, see the books, The Female Brain and The Male Brain by Louann Brizendine.
These hormones are made to keep us together as a couple in a family.
The Bible does not talk in the language of biology like this. Rather, it defines marriage as a covenant of companionship and bond with one another. God calls us to make vows before him and witnesses to formally bond with our spouse (Gen. 2:24; Prov. 2:17; Hos. 2:19, 20; Ez. 16:8; Mal. 2:14; Matt. 1:16-24). However, God gives us the biology to do so.
c. Romantic/oxytocin feelings are fleeting. They come and go.
(1) They can be ignited from time to time but cannot be sustained.
(2) The Bible only sometimes speaks of romantic love. We find it in the love story of Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, David and Bathsheba, and we find it in places like The Song of Solomon.
Three main problems (though there are more)
1. The Problem: Expectations
a. Expectation to feel romantically in love all or most of the time.
One reason why this information on biology is because too many people assume that real love is romantic. If you don’t FEEL in love then you must not BE in love. That’s not biblical. That’s not realistic.
b. Expectations - how we related and conversed at the beginning is how we should always do so. That too is unrealistic.
c. Expectations that my husband or wife are like me or should be like me with the same personal interests, desires, goals, etc.
d. Expectations that my spouse must engage and have the same level of interest about things that I have.
e. Expectations that we must have deep conversations all the time.
2. Another Problem: Your sinful habits (like, you are too selfish and proud)
a. Only things that interest you are worth listening to.
b. The conversations are about you and your stuff.
c. You disrespect your spouse (often wives toward husbands).
d. You do not genuinely love your spouse (often husbands do this toward their wives).
e. You are condescending – shut down the conversation by comments or knowing it all, not listening, or refusing to dialog.
3. A Third Problem: Your communication style
a. Covered this in several other sessions. See Communication in the Units tab on Titus 2 Community’s Facebook page.
b. Problems with your communication:
(1) You talk too much or like to dominate the conversation. This is often a sign of anxiety and insecurity. Some examples: Job 11:2; 16:3; Eccles. 5:3; 6:11; 10:14.
(2) Bad listening habits.
(3) Communicate from your head but not from your heart (no empathy)
What can you do? Seven things you can start with:
1. Make a commitment to personally change.
a. To enjoy healthy, nurturing, deep conversations both need to work on change. Though, usually it’s one who has more of the problem than the other, you can only change yourself.
b. If it’s sin - repent of the sin (turn around and away from it) and by faith turn to God, follow God’s Word and will. Put off sin and put on Christ (Ephesians 3; Colossians 2).
c. If it’s something else, discover what it is. How?
(1) Have a conversation about what you believe is hindering deep conversations.
(2) Speak truthfully and listen intently (Units tabs on communication)
(a) Proverbs 15:4 – speak the truth with love, gently, firmly, and to help.
(b) Receive and validate what your spouse is saying even if you disagree.
* You need to get at the heart of the challenge; learn your spouse’s perspective.
* Proverbs 18:2, 13, 15 - Try to understand the other person’s opinion.
* Make allowances for differences
2. “Recognize that companionate love is based on friendship, affection, comfort, and shared interests with a person whose life is intertwined with your own.”
Compassionate love is commitment and leads to passionate, romantic love.
3. Develop the heart and skill of listening well.
a. Listen well. Check out these posts on listening:
b. Be concerned about the interests of the other person. Demonstrate empathy.
Phil. 2:3 – Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let
each of you regard one another as more important than himself.
c. Be respectful, loving, and patient
Eph. 4:2 – with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one
another in love
4. Foster a relationship to feed romance (prime those oxytocin levels)
a. Determine to get to know your spouse again. It’s rare couples really every know each other fully.
(1) Become a private investigator. Become curious again.
Be a historian – family background going back generations.
Discover his or her fears, dreams, hopes, goals. .
Find out more of his or her likes, dislikes, other interests,
(2) Find more common interests and shared experiences.
Find them and foster more of them.
b. Get in close proximity to each other.
(1) Look into each other’s eyes when talking.
(2) Sit or stand close during romantic opportunities.
c. Provide a home environment where each of you feel safe with each other: emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
d. Do new and exciting or silly things together.
It is proven that those who do this have better quality marriages.
e. Focus on and share healthy, positive things in your lives
(1) Share something good or new or positive from your day
(2) Share and savor what is going right in life (this is not to discount or ignore the
(3) Be grateful for events, life, and especially for each other.
For a great resource, you can purchase your own copy of ThanksLiving:
f. Be genuinely kind
(1) Find ways to do random acts of kindness (surprise)
(2) Deliberately serve your spouse in regular and in spcial ways.
5. Agree to discuss deeper matters.
a. Discuss deeper matters together
(1) Write out a list of things you and your spouse want to discuss.
(2) If it’s about non-personal things, agree what those things are.
For example, The husband wants to talk theology or the specifics of fishing.
The wife wants to discuss philosophy, fine recipes, or traveling.
Discuss a book or a movie or …..
(3) If it’s personal, make an appointment to talk about it and keep the appointment.
6. Agree on a good place or time:
a. Date night
b. After dinner
c. On days off
7. Make accommodations for your spouse to have intellectually stimulating conversations with others
a. Don’t hold it against him or her if s/he’s not on the same intellectual level or have
the same heady interest as you.
b. Get together with trusted friends.
My wife usually discovers something new because in those settings, I share.
c. If your husband or wife isn’t into talking philosophy or theology or trigonometry,
then get with friends who do like those talks.