Communication is difficult.
Marriage is difficult.
So, you guessed it, marriage communication is difficult!
Equipping you and your partner with as many communication tools as possible will undoubtedly improve your relationship.
Today I want to introduce you to HALT.
HALT is a marriage communication tool that will help you assess your state of mind before getting into an argument.
HALT stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired.
So many arguments start because one person hasn't taken care of their biological needs and becomes overly irritated over something small.
A good marriage communication tool starts with checking on yourself first before addressing any kind of issue.
Marriage is full of unnecessary arguments that result in venting to friends later saying, "I don't even know what we were fighting about."
This acronym exists because these are 4 of the most common markers that, when met, can prevent unnecessary fights.
I'm sure most of you can attest to being far more irritable when you haven't eaten; it's such a common experience we have a playful term for it, Hangry.
But let's look at how to implement this marriage communication tool more closely.
H: As discussed above H is for hungry.
Before jumping into an argument or bringing up a sensitive topic make sure you and your partner are not hungry.
Hunger increases irritability which can result in increased defensiveness.
A quick snack or a filling meal of healthy fats and quality protein satiates hunger, reduces irritability, and improves brain function allowing for a much more effective communication experience.
A: Anger should NEVER be the place you start a conversation.
Anger is like drinking poison and expecting it to hurt the other person.
If you or your partner has had a bad day put a pause on whatever it is you want to discuss.
If it can't wait practice some mindful breathing techniques to calm down first.
L: Being lonely can have similar mental effects as being hungry, it's a need that isn't being met which can lead to irritability and resentment.
If you feel like your partner hasn't been giving you the attention you need take the opportunity to be vulnerable instead of resentful.
Tell your partner honestly, "I feel lonely and I need to connect with you."
Telling your partner what you need is a much better marriage communication tool than bitterness and anger.
T: Lastly, tired.
Being exhausted depletes your level of patience and empathy; if you're too tired to have a meaningful conversation don't have it.
It's okay to tell your partner, "I understand we need to talk about this, I'm too tired right now but let's make time tomorrow."
This marriage communication tool goes both ways.
You should be using it to assess where your partner is at, and where you are.
If you are tired and something is bothering you, get sleep first and see if it's still bothering you in the morning.
If you are getting annoyed with your partner, ask yourself if you just need something to eat.
When you are feeling angry, learn to recognize that you're angry and find a way to cool off before talking to your partner.
Each part of HALT helps you become more in tune with your biological needs and internal state of mind while also helping you become more aware of your partner's state of mind.
If your partner comes in and starts blaming you for something, instead of getting defensive tell them to HALT.
Don't take it personally, don't get defensive, just HALT, check in on one another and see if the argument matters after meeting those needs.
HALT is one of the best marriage communication tools I've come across.
It's something that can be implemented before and during an argument.
It teaches you and your partner to become in tune with your mental and physical states.
It prevents so many unnecessary arguments and refines the necessary arguments into clear-minded discussions.
Marriage communication is difficult, make it a little easier on both and HALT before you speak.
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