(This is an encore presentation of a previously published episode of the Date Your Wife podcast.) In this week’s episode, Garrett and Danielle discuss the importance of communicating with your spouse. They have not always been on the same page as a couple, and for many years they each wondered if their marriage would survive the incessant fights and battles that had become the status quo and mode of communication in their relationship. Inside of that chaos, they discovered the formula that works for them.
Every week married couple Danielle and Garrett J White share insights and perspectives from within their own lives regarding the following topics discussed each month:
Week 1: Sex
Week 2: Money
Week 3: Parenting
Week 4: Communication
In This Week’s Podcast….COMMUNICATION
Point #1: Communication in Marriage is the Glue Between Sex, Money, and Kids
- Garrett and Danielle have not always been on the same page as a couple. For many years they each wondered if their marriage would survive the incessant fights and battles that had become the status quo and mode of communication in their relationship.
- Danielle learned how to confront and listen to her feelings, communicate, stand up for herself and voice what she was feeling to match Garrett’s strong personality. Garrett struggled with telling the truth and sharing what he was feeling because he felt unsafe in doing so with Danielle.
How do you and your spouse communicate with each other? Does it create a safe zone or a war zone?
Point #2: The Game of Collision
- Danielle grew up in a non-communicating and non-hugging family, although she instinctively knew her parents loved her. Garrett’s family was very touchy-feely and were encouraged to speak openly and freely about what they were feeling and thinking. Hugs and ‘I love you’ were the norm. Garrett recalls, “It was a downright hug fest.”
- Garrett wanted to share his 42 gallons of feelings with Danielle, but her tiny thimble couldn’t hold that space for him. She wasn’t taught how to communicate and was feeling overwhelmed, which caused her to unknowingly push him away to create breathing space for herself.
What types of communication styles did you and your spouse experience in your families? How has this affected the way you communicate in your marriage?
Point #3: Show Up and Pay Attention
- While dating, Danielle and Garrett could talk for hours and hours. After marriage, the filters came off, the grind of daily life set in, and they eventually found themselves drifting into roommate status. There was no connection and no viable communication. His unspoken message that business came first rang out loud and clear to Danielle.
- Garrett didn’t spend a lot of time seducing Danielle, nor did he pay attention to the needs of his young bride of 20. He was in the work and grind mode which benefited them, yet in the process, he ignored her. He wanted to feel connected to Danielle through sex, touching, and talking – yet that was a complete turn off to her because of their lack of connection and how he wasn’t showing up for her.
How do you show up for your spouse?
Point #4: What You Focus On, Expands
- The loss of their spark, trust, and financial stability, coupled with the demise of their communication, created a very difficult environment for them as a couple. They graduated from not communicating at all to all-out fighting mode in every conversation; they wanted to spend time with other people, rather than with each other. Garrett was receiving emotional fulfillment by having conversations with his female clients and coworkers.
- During this time in 2010, while pregnant with their second child, Danielle stopped looking to Garrett as the source of her happiness and breadwinner, and instead began looking within herself with newfound courage to speak freely and to take on life – without him, if necessary – which resulted in the birth of her business. That was also the beginning of the turning point in their marriage.
Where do you put your energy and focus? How is it enhancing or detracting from your relationship?
Point #5: A Threesome Will Help You Keep Your Game On Point
- Upon discovering their different Love Languages, Garrett learns he has been giving Danielle what he wants to receive, rather than what she wants and needs. Couples and individual therapy enabled them to get past the triggers and blowing up stage while keeping them inside the fight and conversation.
- Garrett shares that therapy and third-party conversations are what saved their marriage. Danielle advises: Be real about your feelings during therapy – even if it means arguing in front of the therapist or spontaneously jumping up and doing burpees and push-ups.
Are you giving your spouse what you want to receive, or are you giving them what they want and need?
Begin discovering your love languages and take action on giving to your spouse what they want and need.
Date Night Topic:
Engage in the conversation with your spouse about starting therapy together.
Quote of the Week:
“The thing that saves our marriage more than anything, is Date Night. It’s the simplest part of the form of the game in restoring communication, connection, passion, fashion, love, and everything else inside of marriage.”
—Garrett J White
“A lot of time with the love languages, it’s not your love language, but you get to cross that boundary to get your own fucking love language met. I used to say, ‘I don’t want to do this. It’s not me. It’s not how I was raised.’ I learned quickly that if I want my needs met, I have to serve him – and vice-versa.”