When I say your marriage needs more drive through, I’m not saying your marriage needs more fast food take out orders. (Although, how cool would it be if you could improve your marriage with more fast food?)
No, I’m talking about conversation. Now don’t roll your eyes and say, “Not another post that tells me I’m supposed to emotionally open up and share my deepest feelings with my spouse!” That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about something simple and easy. Not a complete 4 course meal at some fancy restaurant. Just drive-through.
I first heard about drive-through conversation when attending a conference with Dr. Gary Smalley. To understand how it works, think about the last time you went through the drive through to order food. The transaction probably went something like this…
- You approach the speaker.
- They greet you and ask what you would like.
- You tell them what you want.
- They repeat what you said to make sure they heard you correctly.
- You affirm or correct what they heard.
- They either tell you they can fill that request, or they can’t fill that request and offer a substitute.
- You express you willingness to compromise what you want or sacrifice what you want.
Some other things to note about the fast food, drive through conversations:
- Only one person at a time speaks.
- The person speaking is brief, making one clear point.
- Once the listener clarifies what has been said, the speaker and the listener switch roles.
- This continues until both parties are satisfied.
Your marriage needs more of this kind of conversation. Conversation where only one person at a time speaks. Conversation that is brief and clear in intent. Conversation where one person makes sure they heard correctly before they answer. Conversation where people are not only clear about what they want, but considerate of the needs of the other.
Here’s what this might look like in a marriage…
- Wife approaches Husband. Husband smiles. (The smile is important guys.)
- Husband: “What’s up?”
- Wife: “We need to run by mom’s.”
- Husband: “Sounds like you’re wanting to check on her.”
- Wife: “Yeah. We haven’t seen her for a while.”
- Husband: “Do you want to go now?”
- Wife: “Not this instant. Could we go in the next 30 minutes?”
- Husband: “Could we wait until around 4:00? I would like to finish the game, and it should be over around 3:30.”
- Wife: “I have to take Billy to the birthday party at 4:00.”
- Husband: “I guess I could record the game. What if we went a little before 4:00 and drop Billy off on the way.”
- Wife: “That sounds good, but if the game’s not over by that time, then well be late.”
- Husband: “Yeah…”
At this point, either the husband or the wife may have to compromise or sacrifice what they want, but at least both of them have felt heard, understood, and cared for. This makes the compromise or sacrifice easier to accept.
I know that not every conversation will go as smoothly as the above example, especially at first. But I can guarantee that the more the two of you practice drive through conversations the easier it will be…and the easier marriage will be.
If you can order a hamburger, fries, and a shake, you can improve your marriage and the communication in your marriage. That’s why I say your marriage needs more drive through.
Give it a try and then leave a comment and tell us how it went.
Copyright © 2014 Bret Legg