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Marriage

Communication Tips to Build a Partnership with Your Spouse

Communications tips for a stronger marrriage

November 8, 2022

Want to feel confident with your husband being your best teammate and know you can count on him to help you succeed in your home and business?

So many women ask me “how do you get your husband to do this or that?”

Does my husband always want to do all the things that I ask of him? Probably not. No. I don’t always want to do the things he asks of me. In the grand scheme of things, these are things that we do because we either know they are the right thing to do for what we want to accomplish.

I have put together my top tips to improve communication with your spouse, so you can get started on this journey today. Plus, I am sharing simple hacks to encourage your husband to get involved. To pull it all together, I will show you how we really do this with real-life examples from our day-to-day.

Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast

Your spouse is your best teammate

This is something that can be really hard when it comes to dealing with another grown human. I talk a lot about how to get systems in place with our small humans, and obviously, the dynamic of that relationship is much different than the relationship we have with our spouses.

I really want you to know that this topic of how to partner with our spouses has to come from a space of us truly wanting to treat them like a partner and not a child. I’m going to put it out there, right now, that there is a real chance that you may be enabling, coddling, and downplaying your husband’s ability to show up as a partner. You may have really never poured into them, shown them, or really believed in their ability to be a partner and accomplish your goals. And if that is where you are, that’s ok, but you can’t stay there if you want to accomplish the vision you have for your home, your motherhood, and in your business.

It is my mission to change the culture of motherhood. And part of that has to do with the way that we manage our relationships with our husbands. That has to do with how we treat them.

We have to approach our spouses as though they have the potential to be our best teammates because that is what they were designed to be. To be our partner in things.

Maybe you have been working on having a killer teammate and partnership with your spouse for a long time, so you will be able to take a lot of this and apply it to your marriage and the way you guys work together.

If your marriage feels far away from the picture I have painted, you are going to want to take one tiny portion of this and see how it goes. And then come back for another piece when you are ready for more.

“You are going to have to know what you need in order to build the partnership that you want to have.”

Three communication tips to build a partnership

Tip 1 – Know what you need.

You are going to have to know what you need in order to build the partnership that you want to have. When you are looking at what you need, I want you to think about how you as a mom running your ship can use support. All these things that you are managing throughout your day, what is slipping through your fingers? What can you outsource?

Maybe it’s not that you just need your husband to pitch in and help, maybe you need him to give you the big A-OK to hire a helper or house cleaner, or that you can send your kids to daycare two days a week. Maybe it’s adding twenty dollars to your grocery budget to get some pre-chopped vegetables because prepping takes so much time. What does outsourcing looks like in your life? Where do you need support?

Maybe you just need emotional support. That’s a big one for me. I’m pretty tough, I have pushed myself through a lot physically and mentally, and I’m still tough emotionally, but I need him and his support. If he’s not there for me emotionally, I’m a basket case. When I’m a basket case I know that emotional support is where the broken link is. That is where we need to reconnect.

You have to begin to understand yourself as you lead and run your ship in these areas so that you know how to approach him whenever you are building or maintaining this partnership with him. You really need to figure out what it is that you need help with in order to make this system and this partnership grow between the two of you.

Tip 2 – Be specific.

I want you to be direct with your ask.

Nine times out of ten, when I talk to other women, they are terrified to come out and ask their husbands for what they need. This leads to talking about things in the abstract and leaves your husband wondering what it is you want them to do.

Instead, tell them about the issue you are having and what, exactly, you need them to do to solve it.

Be super direct and specific with your ask. If you are going to use my laundry system and you want to figure out how to be able to partner with your spouse in making that system successful, you need to communicate what it is and what they need to do.

It really can be as simple as saying, “I’m having a hard time keeping up with the laundry on my own and I’ve created a system that I think will really help. Can you help wash, dry, and put away clothes on Fridays?”

Ask him! What is he going to say? No? I hope not, but maybe.

If he balks or grumbles, restate your need with the specifics: “I’m really having a hard time and I need your help. It would mean a lot to me. Is there any way you could just try it for this month? Or two weeks?”

Be ready to walk him through the steps so that he understands what you want him to do. Most of the time, they are going to say “oh that’s all you need? Ok, I can do that for you”.

Tip 3 – Focus on the benefits.

Phrase your conversations around how the outcome of following through will benefit the entire family, especially them.

Just coming to them in frustration and complaining, puts pressure on them to fix the problem for you without knowing how it is going to impact them. It has been so unbelievably helpful when I say to my husband, “I really think it is going to be helpful for our finances if we can sit down and do this menu board every single weekend.”

Right then and there his ears perked up because I let him know that his participation would free up money for other things our family needs or wants. That gets him on board, he becomes engaged and we start partnering together.

Tip 4 – You don’t need to share all the details of everything.

I want you to ask yourself what you need to let go of.

I do not have the gift of restraint but I’m working on it. Sometimes a really big part of what we communicate is actually what we choose not to communicate. I am all about sharing all of my feelings, but in some situations, it is a really good idea to just say nothing at all.

What does that mean? If what you are asking for isn’t rooted in a legitimate need for help, finding common ground on a solution is going to be really hard.

Being specific, with a direct request for him, consistently, allows your husband to truly trust that what you are bringing to him is actually what is on your heart. If he can’t tell the difference between a solid request and an emotional outburst, he can’t develop the habit of listening and taking action on what you bring to him.

Tip 5 – Play to everyone’s strengths.

When we speak about partnering with your spouse to accomplish more in your home and business, we are likely talking about your wheelhouse here. I know the kids are both yours and his, the home is yours and his, and you are sharing them, but it’s really your wheelhouse. You are the one that is doing most of the things. You are the work-from-home mom, the nurturer, the mom, and you are the one that is the front runner in that most of the time.

Blane and I share everything, and that is why I am bringing this to you, but I still have the things that I am good at, those are my responsibility buckets. At the end of the day is Blane responsible for the decor and organization in the house? Absolutely not. It’s just not what he is good at. I am the one that is responsible for it. I am the one that takes ownership of it.

He takes ownership of the things where his interest and talent lie.

And most of the time that works in dividing what needs to be done so that we each get to have time for our own passions and business, and the house is clean, the laundry done and our family fed.

Tip 6 – Encourage involvement.

Let’s move into how to encourage your husband to get involved. But having him involved as a partner is a big part of this because we tend to divide our roles and operate in silos.

Not every husband will need extra encouragement to get involved. My husband is insanely involved. In everything. I don’t have to encourage him, it’s just something that he’s always done.

At the end of the day we are seeking to be successful in our endeavors, whichever responsibility bucket that is, we want to be successful. It is the foundation of everything that I do. It starts with both of you and how you operate in your, marriage.

Make sure you are not operating in silos. I think that it is absolutely our responsibility as moms and wives and women to care about the environment that we create.

It is a huge form of nurturing for me. It is why I love the way things smell, the way things smell, the way the sheets feel to my kids, how their food tastes to them, and what their comfort level is physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally, all of those things are ways to nurture, it’s a way to comfort and to pour into these humans that we have been given.

“You are going to have to know what you need in order to build the partnership that you want to have.

Real-life communication in action

Week to week we are constantly operating in a mode of true partnership. Does that mean that we get along constantly? Absolutely not. A lot of that comes from his willingness and my willingness to just try and try again. That willingness doesn’t always come right off the bat. That’s ok. Blane isn’t always willing and I’m not always willing to try again and you won’t be either.

How do we do this every single week? Well our major partnership efforts come together in full force when we talk about parenting.

Parenting

Parenting is the number one thing that we do together because he is home all day every day for several days until he goes back to work. When he is home, he is home for everything. He’s a firefighter and works on rotation so some days he is there for everything and some he is gone.

How we partner in parenting is trying to get on the same page regarding how we are going to parent. That has allowed us to be successful but it has come with challenges. I am very direct with my asks. I have taken the leadership role in parenting because I am home more often with them and because it is truly something that lights me up inside. My challenge as a leader in parenting is that I know I need to figure out how to make this simple for him and how to be really clear about what it is that I need.

Housework.

Week to week how do we partner on housework? My system for that as you may know is the zone cleaning system where we rotate through 5 zones every week of the month and he dives in and helps me. I’ve made it simple by only having 2 cleaning products, it’s direct, clear and concise, and in the google calendar. When it comes time to do it, we divide it up and complete it together.

We partner in cleaning and maintenance in the home a lot. He is naturally way better at unloading the dishwasher, and I am just way better at loading it. I get so excited when I have managed to fit all of the dishes in the dishwasher and there is zero space left. It is like winning a trophy. I feel so good about myself. I truly believe in dividing up cleaning responsibilities by people’s strengths and weaknesses. I look for those opportunities for where we create really good partnerships in everything we do around the house.

Laundry

Another way to make it simple and direct is by labeling the kids’ drawers. I loathe putting laundry away and he hates it when it is not put away. He never knew where to put things away and it would irritate me when I would go upstairs and see all the things in the “wrong” places.

I could go on and on, our bills, our finances, and all the things that we can do to be able to partner with our spouses so that we can accomplish more in our homes and our businesses.

No one is perfect, just keep up with

If you can get effective and efficient, you are going to allow more time for yourself and your business. For me, being able to know exactly what I need from my husband emotionally and as far as time is concerned helps me be successful in my business. The ability to outsource things to my husband in motherhood and my home gives me the time I need as a stay-at-home mom and work-from-home mom, that is how I am able to make that happen and that is how you are going to be able to make that happen.

Sometimes there are going to be unmet expectations that lead to hurt and you have to give yourself the time you need to heal from that then go right back in. This is my spouse, my success in our home, business, with our kids, it all depends on this partnership so I am going to try again. That is what the foundation of keeping the partnership afloat looks like. Having that conversation over and over again with each other. Just being willing to try over and over again is what has allowed us to succeed.

I would love it if you came over to the Facebook group with me and let me know what you are working on in your partnership with your husband. I want to know what you thought! If you want to dive in even deeper, come on over and check out The Systemize Your Life Academy where we dive into all the systems and spend some time working on helping you to develop and grow your partnership with your spouse. Can’t wait to see you there!

Communications tips for a stronger marrriage

Frequently Asked Questions

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Communications tips for a stronger marrriage
Communications tips for a stronger marrriage

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