Skip to content

Humor

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.

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.

bulldozer

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

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,

Think.

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.

Listen.

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.

Ask.

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?

What I Learned about Zombie Movies and How it Can Save Your Marriage

zombies


The popularity of zombie movies is at an all time high. Nearly 50 zombie movies were made in 2015 alone. The Walking Dead, a TV show about zombies, is super successful and in its sixth season. Although zombies are fictional characters, thinking about the best way to react if zombies try taking over the world (the zombie apocalypse) is something many adults actually think about. I never really understood the attraction to zombies, until recently.

All I knew is zombies are disgusting. They’re grossly disfigured creatures who chase people by shuffling around and groaning. Due to my limited understanding of zombies, my co-workers gladly volunteered to educate me in all things zombie. Apparently zombies have their strange appearance and poor motor and verbal skills because they are not alive. But they’re also not dead. They are “undead” which is difficult to explain fully, even by so called zombie experts. A virus of some kind makes zombies animated enough to try to eat people, especially their brains. After this education I was informed but even less interested. Then a co-worker changed my outlook on zombie movies. She said “Zombies aren’t really the point, the stories are really about how the people overcome the problem of zombies.”

Now I get it. Zombie shows and zombie movies have the same story arc as all epic adventures. People face an impossible challenge which promises to destroy them. Through hardship and sacrifice people come together to overcome evil.

You may have little interest in zombie movies but the lessons from them could save your marriage.

Understand your spouse is not the problem.

During the first session of marriage counseling, I often ask couples to describe why they came to counseling. Each couple has their own style but most start by detailing the reasons their partner is a terrible person. “He’s controlling and lazy” to which he replies “she’s a liar and a complainer.” Couples who view their problems as central to their spouse’s identity never last. If you spend your entire marriage mistaking your spouse for a zombie you’ll both end up destroyed.

Identify the real problem.

Zombie movies do this well. The zombies are clearly the enemy, they’re trying to eat people after-all. The people must destroy the zombies before they become zombie dinner. You and your spouse must clearly identify the enemy and work together to destroy it before it ends your marriage. Marriage problems always come from outside and attack the marriage.

Embrace your true identity.

Each spouse is a hero. You’re the heroes in the story of your marriage. The problems you’ll face as a couple are like zombies. You can’t interact with them and try to talk them out of wanting to eat you. Start talking to your spouse like they’re the solution to the problem rather than the problem. People who team up against zombies have a better chance to win. Be the hero your marriage needs.

Team up.

Communicate your identity as a team by changing your words and tone from “they” to “we.” “He’s addicted to methamphetamine” becomes “we are facing the challenge of addiction” “She’s a liar” becomes “we are working on changing the environment of mistrust.” “He always acts so depressed” becomes “we are facing the challenge of mental illness and working to understand how it impacts our marriage.” “She always does her own thing” becomes “we are learning how to rely on each other while remaining individuals.”

Identify the problem in a way you can both attack.

If 37 zombies attacked your spouse at once, you wouldn’t stand around and hope your spouse survives, you’d attack too. Facing problems as a married couple will never work if only one person takes action. Both of you are heroes, neither of you should go alone or wait for the other to attack problems first. Avoiding problems never works in the long term. Defending against zombie attacks is good but doesn’t work as well as aggressively taking the fight to them.

Get some killer weapons.

Zombies are hard to fight off with bare hands. You and your spouse need to use available weapons in your battle against life’s problems. If money causes problems, get a budget and an accountant. If you’re facing communication difficulties get a good relationship book, or my 30 days of better communication course. If you’re facing intimacy issues, find a counselor. Get a weapon and destroy the problems violently.

What would you do to survive a zombie attack?

What’s your zombie apocalypse strategy?


couple with guns