An essential component to effective communication is timing. You can demonstrate award winning communication skills, and if your partner has just got off work and had a horrible day, the conversation goes south. When you have something you need to discuss with your partner, first ask them, “Is this a good time?” or “Are you available?” Check in with your partner before laying it on them. This way your partner feels a sense of control and choice, and can prepare themselves to be present for you. In addition, if you are being intentional with timing, you don’t get dismissed or feel deflated. You are setting yourself up for success and getting your needs met – you need to be heard!
If you are asked if you are available, and you say “no”, it is your responsibility to later come back to your partner and be available, and to do this within 24 hours of the initial request. This way one person’s time is respected, while the other’s need to discuss something is also respected. Try to live by this rule in your marriage, it will work well for both of you. Remember to have compassion and empathy for each other because just as it is hard to be available and discuss something when you need space, it is just as hard to pause and wait until your partner is ready. So, be mindful of the importance of good timing.