This post is part of  A Conversation Piece Tour which I am excited to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers and love advocates. To learn more and to join us in spreading a message of better love communication, CLICK HERE! 

When I think about the last several years of my life, I think about all the lessons in love I’ve experienced. Married for almost eight years, I have learned so much about myself and what being in an authentic, healthy relationship means.

I met my husband almost 20 years ago while we were high school seniors on a college campus tour. We both ended up going to that school and spent the next four years building an inseparable friendship. He has always been able to make me smile. His ability to make me smile has honestly been one of the most consistent things about our love.

A couple of years after we graduated, we started dating seriously. Years later we got married. Now, almost eight years and two kids later, we are still in love. It hasn’t all been a walk in the park. There have been tough times for sure. But we endured, with our love still intact. We learned how to rebuild whatever we thought was falling apart.

So how have we done it? How have we managed to make this thing work? I think it’s because we’ve learned a few meaningful lessons along the way. I believe that when an opportunity arises to learn a lesson, you get stronger and wiser if you are able to learn it. But if you just can’t seem to grasp the lesson, God will keep trying to teach it to you in different ways.

Now I know that I still have many more lessons to learn, but let me share 3 of the greatest lessons I have learned when it comes to love.

Communication is a two-way street.

Communication is not just about being heard. It’s about being able to listen. It’s also about communicating in a way that makes your mate want to listen to you. Often, what you say is not as important as how you say it. We spend lots of time focusing on how we deliver a message, but marriage has taught me that we also need to spend  time focusing on how to receive a message. I’ve also learned that both partners need to be active participants. If only one person is making an effort to communicate effectively, a communication breakdown is inevitable.

People have different pain languages.

You and your spouse make go through the same painful experience, but they way you express and process your pain can be very different. We all seem to embrace the idea that people don’t experience love the same way, but we still have a hard time understanding that people don’t experience grief the same way either. Understanding that my husband experiences and processes pain very differently than I do was, and still is, difficult. But now that I get it, it makes all the difference. I have to respect him enough to give him the space to experience pain in a way that works for him, and he has to do the same for me.

Timing is everything.

I remember how foolish I was during the earlier days of our marriage. If I was determined to get my point across, I would do it–no matter what. I soon realized that this approach wasn’t going to work. I would end up frustrated, my husband would be annoyed, and my message was never heard. I finally began to understand the importance of timing. Having a deep conversation after my husband has been at work for 12 hours (and sat in traffic before getting home) wasn’t a good idea. Now we are both mindful about when we have certain conversations with each other. By doing so, we are both fully present and able to engage in a meaningful discussion.

If you think communication is something you struggle with in your relationship, I think you should check out A Conversation Piece, by author Tiya Cunningham-Sumter. In this insightful book, Tiya dives into changing the way couples communicate by offering 32 bold relationship lessons. She knows this book has the power to change lives.

She knows this book has the power to change lives and I couldn’t agree more. You can grab your copy HERE.

Books about communication