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8 Signs You’re a Lazy Communicator (and 8 Ways to Redeem Yourself)

Lazy couch potato

You’ve got to communicate great to be a good mate. Just because you’re talking doesn’t mean you’re communicating well. Some communication stinks like last month’s meatloaf or sour milk lost under the car seat. Couch potato communicators think they communicate fine but they miss the magic of great communication. What about you? Are you a lazy communicator?

You’re a lazy communicator if:

You communicate via technology only.

Texting is a brilliant way to miscommunicate. Texting makes the other person guess the tone and emotion of your message. If communication with your spouse consists primarily of texts and emojis you’re in trouble.

Stop hiding behind your phone and talk with your spouse face to face. Stop using technology as a crutch and seek real in person connection.

You communicate about logistics only.

“When is my dentist appointment?” “did you feed the dog?” “don’t forget to buy a birthday card.” Logistics are the basic tasks of daily life. Talking about logistics is important but shallow. Only lazy communicators stay stuck in surface level talk in marriage.

Ask more meaningful questions to boost your communication and connection. Check out the FREE resource I created for you. >>> 19 Questions to Ask Your Spouse for Deeper Connection.

You’re careless with tone.

Words matter but the tone you use to say them communicates over 90% of their meaning. For example lazy communicators say things like “Sure those smelly sweatpants look great on you, I love that poor hygiene look.” Sarcasm when arguing with your spouse is a super lazy way to communicate.

It’s fine to be silly and sarcastic with your spouse but don’t be lazy with your tone. If you’re always sarcastic and then you tell your wife “I love you” she’s not going to take you seriously and that’s a problem for your marriage. The same goes for an angry tone. If you spouse asks you “are you mad at me?” fairly often, you probably have an angry tone habit. Adjust your tone to communicate love.

You talk over others.

Talking without listening is just noise. Your ears can’t work while your mouth is moving. It’s obvious you’re too lazy to listen when you interrupt and talk over others.

Quiet down, slow down and really listen to your spouse for once.

You criticize.

No one likes internet trolls who boldly criticize anything simply for the sick pleasure of it. Criticism is cowardly way to communicate. Only the laziest take a hammer to dirty dishes to avoid the work of washing them.

You may need to ask your spouse to clarify if you’re unknowingly critical of them. Exchange criticism in your communication for affirmation. Check out these posts for practical ways to affirm your love for your spouse: The 5 Affirmations Every Wife Should Hear from Their Husband Every Day and 6 Affirmations Every Guy Wants to Hear from Their Wife.

You lie.

Lying for any reason is deadly for relationships. Some people justify lying by saying they’re reducing conflict. Skipping a shower for a month will reduce water usage but your spouse will lose respect for you. Avoiding conflict by lying never works in the long run. See my post 6 Exciting Reasons to Lie to Your Spouse.

The solution to lying sounds simple, always be honest. But we all know couples who are brutally honest with each other and it’s just brutal. You must pair honesty with love for relationships to thrive. 

You call people names.

Name calling shows contempt. It may work for presidential campaigns but it never works in marriage. We’re not talking about cute pet names couples use for each other. Calling your wife “babe” or “sweetheart” is not usually a problem if they like it. Calling your spouse curse words or even “stupid” or “ugly crier” is lazy and hurtful. 

Your words are powerful and names contain elements of identity. Rather than identifying your spouse with a derogatory term use empowering words to speak to their identity. Tell your husband “you are an amazing husband” often and he’ll believe it’s true about him. Behavior is a reflection of identity.

You yell to make your point.

When I traveled overseas I attempted to communicate with people who didn’t fully understand English. I found myself talking louder and louder. It didn’t help. I didn’t need to communicate louder; I needed to communicate in a way they could understand. Increasing your volume never makes you sound smarter.

Notice your volume when you talk to your spouse. Rate your volume on a scale of 1-10. One being a whisper, and ten being yelling at a Seahawks game loud. If all of your communication is above a 6 you’re a lazy communicator. Take down the volume and you’ll find your spouse (and children) respond much better to you.

What’s your lazy communication habit? How will you change it this week to connect better with your spouse?

Don’t forget you can get 19 Questions to Ask Your Spouse for Deeper Connection right now.

10 Things Only the Happiest Couples Know

18939654 - middle-aged couple wearing eyeglasses

Happy couples aren’t unicorns. Not that unicorns couldn’t make a happy couple it’s just that well, they don’t exist. The way some people talk you’d think happily married couples aren’t real either. Yes, the divorce rate is awful and many couples who manage to stay married are miserable, but happy couples are real. It’s like the M&M’s commercial where an animated M&M bumps into Santa Claus and in surprise they both mutter “He does exist.” Happy couples do exist and they’re actually not that rare. Happy couples are everywhere, a bunch of them probably even live in your neighborhood. Perhaps you and your spouse have even cracked the code and consider yourselves happily married. Two types of couples exist. Those who are already happy and those who used to be happy and want a happy marriage again. You have what it takes to live happily ever after with your spouse, you just need to know the secrets of the happiest couples.

Marriage doesn’t have to be hard work.

Walking on the beach in Hawaii is fun. Sure it takes more work than lying on the couch but walking in the surf and watching the sunset is so awesome it hardly feels like work.

Fighting is not required.

Fighting is so normal in marriage some people think it’s a sign of a good relationship. The happiest couples negotiate their disagreements without fighting.

You won’t be happy all the time.

Even at Disneyland, the happiest place on earth, you get tired and grumpy. Emotions are important but temporary. The happiest couples know happiness is temporary but so is sadness, discouragement, and loneliness.  

Good communication is a skill.

The happiest couples don’t give up when they miscommunicate. They keep getting back on the bicycle after every crash. They know the thrill of deep connection comes by developing communication skill over time.

Thanksgiving is not just a day in November.

The happiest couples are thankful for their spouse. This perspective of thankfulness protects against selfishness.

Circumstances don’t determine your happiness.

Life is not all rainbows and sunshine. But it doesn’t matter what storms come your way when your marriage is a safe place. Even rainy days can bring a smile when you’re close to your spouse.

Touch is touching.

Affectionate touching link hearts. The happiest couples are comfortable touching each other. Physical touch sparks their romantic connection.

Contentment and striving for better are two sides of the same coin.

The happiest couples are perfectly content with their relationship the way it is AND they constantly strive to improve their connection.

Technology is simply a tool.

Tools are only helpful if used skillfully. A hammer can either build or destroy a house. The happiest couples use technology to connect with each other and are careful not to let technology distract them from face to face interaction.

Intimacy has many forms. 

Marital intimacy includes sex and much more. Emotional intimacy, sexual intimacy, physical intimacy, spiritual intimacy, and intellectual intimacy all support each other. The happiest couples invest heavily in all forms of intimacy.

What would you add? What is the secret to happiness in your marriage?

Feel in Love With Your Spouse Again in Only 5 Minutes

cartoon couple in love

It may come as a shock to you but you’re allowed to feel in love even when you’re married. Yes, of course, love is more than a feeling. You’ve got to be committed for a marriage to last through hard times. But never feeling in love is plain miserable. You CAN feel in love OFTEN in your marriage; it’s not too much to expect!

The grind of everyday life messes with loving feelings. You may feel bored, stressed, tired, angry, disinterested, or irritable. No matter why you’re no longer feeling the love you can rocket your connection in only 5 minutes. It’ll be the best 5 minutes of your day guaranteed.

Give your spouse your full attention by putting your phone down and making eye contact.

Don’t stare, that’s weird. Just look at them so they know you’re paying attention.

Give your spouse a genuine heart felt compliment.

Don’t flake out and awkwardly say “um, I like your hair today.” Make it good.

Give your spouse a smile.

Not a creepy or cheesy smile, a real smile. If you have trouble finding a real smile, it’s been too long. Get to it.

If you’ve fought recently, Give your spouse a sincere apology.

Say “I’m sorry” and then shut up. The more you say the more likely you’ll ruin your apology with blaming or making excuses.

Give your spouse a kiss and say “I love you.”

This is not make out time, you’re trying to impress her with your ability to emotionally connect, not your ability to swap chapstick.  

Give your spouse a warm, 30 second hug.

Don’t try any funny stuff during the hug, simply enjoy being close.

In case you didn’t notice, feeling in love again is all about giving. And it doesn’t take long. Giving is how you built love in the first place and it’s the ticket to rocket your love today. 

Go give and get close!

What helps you feel in love with your spouse?

love on a stick

6 Exciting Reasons to Lie to Your Spouse

excited couple

Do you ever get tired of hearing honesty is the best policy? What about a little white lie or a crumb of dishonesty? The expectation for complete honesty in marriage is so restrictive and closed minded. Just because lying has a negative connotation doesn’t mean you can’t lie to your spouse. Lying can produce exciting results in your marriage. If you’ve been looking for permission to lie, you’re in luck; I’ve compiled a list of 6 exciting reasons to lie to your spouse.


You want to destroy trust.

No worries, trust is only the foundation of any good relationship, houses don’t need foundations. Just bulldoze the foundation, no one in the house will notice.

You hate intimacy.

Lying will make your partner cringe when they see you. This creepy-crawly feeling prevents closeness and good touch. No touching means no sex. Lying to your spouse will end sex forever. What could be better for a relationship than a dry deserted love life?

Arguments and verbal fights are your idea of a good time.

Lying is a great way to turn your marriage into an eternal tennis match of verbal abuse. Nothing is as exciting as knowing you have another emotionally painful argument waiting for you every night.

You’re trying to demolish your family.

A fun close knit family life is easily flushed away by a few lies. Dramatic conflict is a truly effective way to create anxious and angry children. Divorce is a predictable outcome of lying to your spouse.

You have too much money.

Lying is a great way to burn through cash. Lying about money is one of the most common lies people tell their spouse. It takes even more money to cover up the secret money you spent; it’s an exciting game to play and it easily relieves you of all that extra money. If that doesn’t work you can always hire a divorce attorney. They charge hundreds of dollars per hour and are quite skilled at…talking…slowly.

TV dinnerYou want to suffer a cold lonely marriage.

Living disconnected from your spouse is available for only a small investment of dishonesty. Your marriage could feel like eating a lukewarm Salisbury steak TV dinner alone for every meal.

Or you could develop a habit of honesty in your marriage. Your call.

For a less snarky post about honesty and the secret to doing honesty right in marriage read “Honesty is Powerful” <<<Click

annoying couple

Uugghh, You’re So Annoying

annoying couple

Recently I read a fun article from the Today Show. It reminded me of premarital counseling.

Every time I see couples for premarital counseling I have them discuss their expectations for household tasks. The exercise of discussing daily tasks like washing dishes, doing laundry, feeding the pets, and cooking food creates opportunities to discuss tension points. An unbalanced household workload is a MAJOR source of conflict in marriage. Resentment forms quickly when one partner feels they are doing everything around the house and their spouse is a slacker. If you cannot communicate well regarding simple household tasks, deeper, more intimate topics will be impossible to manage.

The article I mentioned from the Today Show is titled ‘Infuriating!’ Here are 5 of the most annoying household habits ever.

The folks at the Today Show did a little survey asking people about their spouse’s most annoying habits. It’s a short article, you should click it quick and read it.

They found the most annoying household habits ever are:

1. Leaving the dirty dishes in the sink

2. Taking other people’s food out of the fridge

3. Putting empty containers back in the fridge

4. Wasting paper towels

5. Not replacing the toilet paper roll

When I read the article I thought ut-oh! I’m guilty. I like paper towels. A lot. I’ll admit to overusing paper towels but in my mind I never waste them. I’m not sure about your house but in our house kids make messes. Ok, I make a lot of messes too but I’d like to think mine are more sophisticated adult messes like exploding spaghetti sauce in the microwave. But I never fear because the paper towel holder is near. I use paper towels for wiping the kitchen counters, cleaning chocolate milk moustaches, gathering smashed banana pieces off the floor, and cleaning out the stray coffee grounds from the coffee maker. Paper towels are clearly superior to a kitchen washrag because the dirty mess goes right into the garbage, not the sink. This saves a few unnecessary steps. My paper towel habit is not saving the trees, but it’s justified because it saves my energy and sanity.

paper towel

After reading the Today Show article I began to wonder if my habit was eroding Hollie’s sanity. Was I unintentionally the most annoying husband ever?

I didn’t know so I texted her “Do you think I use too many paper towels?” with a link to the article.

She responded back “that’s a fun article.”

Kind of left me wondering but at least it wasn’t “YES! It’s super-duper annoying.” So I’m thinking she doesn’t mind much.

If you ever wonder if one of your habits is annoying your spouse,


Come on now, just think about it for a second. You probably already know you’re annoying in some things because leaving dirty socks next to her pillow is the essence of annoying.


You know that sound your spouse makes? It’s called talking. If you listen closely enough you’ll discover they’ve been telling you directly how annoying your habits are. When we grab fast food Hollie and I typically share a large drink. I drink the majority of it and she tells me “hey! You drank it all.” I’m pretty sure that annoys her more than using a bunch of paper towels.


If you’re still not sure if your habit is annoying, ask your spouse. Ask them by text, with a silly voice or in a serious moment but ask. If you want to know something, you’ve got to ask. You may not want to know, afraid you’ll need to change. If you ask and your spouse responds “yes, that’s super annoying,” then you’ve put yourself in a position where you’ll either continue making it hard for them to love you or you’ll change your behavior.   

News flash! Changing your annoying habits to make yourself more tolerable and lovable in marriage is a no brainer. Showing you’re willing to do the difficult work of putting your socks in the clothes hamper could work miracles in your marriage.  

All relationships require adjusting. When we were first married I piled up dishes in the sink. As a bachelor my dishes strategy was to conserve effort and wash the dishes only when I had no more clean ones. The pile could build for over a week; I only had to do dishes a few times a month. After we got married I quickly discovered my pile up the dishes strategy wasn’t going to fly anymore. Eventually I learned to adjust and became more diligent about putting the dishes in the dishwasher.

Couples fit into one of two different communication ruts when addressing annoying habits.

Ignore and avoid

The ignore and avoid communication rut looks like couples who try to ignore their partner’s annoying habit. At first this looks like a good strategy, it reduces conflict and prevents sounding like a complainer. The problem is eventually, since the habit is quite annoying, avoidance takes over in everything. The tendency to avoid conflict leads to avoiding contact. Guys who ignore and avoid are silent at home but often have no problem spouting off the annoying habits of their wife when talking to their buddies on the golf course. When spouses avoid contact with each other, love drifts off.

To stop the avoiding communication pattern, be bold. Risk stepping on some toes, you’ll find honest, caring, and direct communication opens doors to really connect with your spouse on a much more intimate level.

Confront and conquer

The confront and conquer communication rut looks like couples who constantly nit pick at each other. Nearly all communication contains a critical tone. When others point out their criticism, they laugh it off and say “we love each other, that’s just how we communicate.” Yikes. Even if they try to shrug it off, the communication pattern is dangerous. Each partner feels attacked and actively defends their actions, usually by a counter attack. “I hate how you’re always coming home late!” “oh yeah? Well if you’d ever make dinner worth eating maybe I’d want to come home.” The attacks continue until one partner is conquered.

To stop the conquer or be conquered communication pattern, chill out. Apologize for your nit picking and give your spouse grace. Putting away your battle weapons will open doors to connect with your spouse in meaningful and intimate ways.

What’s your annoying habit?

How will you communicate with your spouse differently today?