Answering the Emotional Calls
by Tara Payne
One thing almost every person on the planet has is a phone of some kind. We take them with us wherever we go, including the bathroom. Because of technology, we can connect with anyone, anywhere in a matter of moments. However for a connection to take place when the phone rings, you have to answer it and have a conversation.
If you are like most people, it doesn’t matter what is going on in your life chances are if your phone rings you answer it. The quality of the conversation may be good or bad but usually, we respond in some way. Even if you do not answer it, you will at least see who it is, and send them a text if you were not able to talk. Even a non-reply is a reply. It tells the person you are unable or unwilling to talk. One way or the other when a phone rings a reply is sent pretty quickly.
Emotional CallsAnswering phone calls is not the only way two people can connect. Phones are not the only things that send a signal when someone wants to talk to you. People have needs that can only be met through connection with other people. This is never more true than in a marriage relationship. We need to be able to connect to the one that we have chosen to spend the rest of our lives with. We need to be able to recognize when our spouse is wanting to connect with us and answer the call for them they are sending us. So how do we establish those connections? We do so by sending and answering emotional calls.
Ring RingAccording to an article written by getlasting.com ~ Emotional Calls are your attempts and your partner’s attempts to connect with one another. These show up in your marriage in a wide variety of ways. They can be attempts to get attention, affirmation, affection, empathy, or any other emotional need from the other person. These emotional calls can come in all shapes and sizes. It can be as bold as, “Do you think I am pretty?” or “Do you love me?”, or it can be a subtle as a sad sigh or angry huff. Regardless of how the call comes the goal of the call is always the same. Your spouse is asking for a connection. There is a need they have and they are asking you to fulfill the need. The need could be for attention, maybe they just want to have a conversation with you so they ask how your day went. Maybe it is a bigger need. Perhaps they are having a day where they feel they do not add up in some way and they are looking for affirmation, these calls could come in the way of, “This happened today, do you think I handled it correctly?”. The needs vary but one things stays the same, they are looking to you to help.
Can You Hear Me NowResearch done by world-renowned marriage counselor John Gottman has shown that healthy couples answer the emotional calls of their spouses positively 86% of the time, while unhealthy couples, who eventually get divorced, respond positively only 33% of the time. This research shows us we can have a healthy and happy marriage if we can just learn to hear these emotional calls and positively answer them. The good news is we send out dozens of calls to our spouses a day, which adds us to thousands a year. So this gives us plenty of opportunities to answer, right? The trick is to answer the calls positively.
These Calls are ImportantYou cannot answer these calls negatively or harshly and expect a healthy, happy marriage. The major thing we have to remember is these calls are important and are desiring of our answer. At the root of all these calls is the longing of one person to know that the other person will be there for them regardless of the situation. We all fear rejection and we just want to know that our spouses are the ones we can depend on. When we answer the calls in a positive way we are affirming to our husband or wife that we care for them and will be there for and with them. We can use these small answers every day to recommit to our spouses in huge ways. 86% Connection We know what the magic number is and we know that we need to respond positively, so what is our next step? Answering the call and establishing the connection. So how do we do this? When your spouse asks you a question-
- Give them your full attention
- Answer the question with as much detail as possible
- Carry on the conversation by asking questions as well
- Be kind- remember they just want your time and connection
- Be bold and ask them if something is wrong if you notice something is off about them (being the first to reach out shows you see them and care about them)
- Show genuine concern, even if it is small if it matters to them it matters
- Give them a hug or a kiss, anything to show them you are physically there for them
In ConclusionEmotional calls will come in all shapes and sizes. Some will only take a moment to answer and connect, some will take much longer. The goal is to keep answering the calls. Be the one your spouse can go to, knowing you will always be there for them. Be a safe place, a strong place, a fun place. Make it a goal every day to be their place of connection.
Adventure Awaits! Let’s Go!For more ways to connect with your spouse click here to check out our book “A Beautiful Adventure Marriage: A Guide for the Marriage God Created for You.” Have you and your spouse read through our reading plan on the You Version Bible app yet? If not click here to get started today.
Guest article by Tara Payne
Co-creator of A Beautiful Adventure
A Christian Marriage Blog