Where I Heard It
I’m not sure of the first time I heard the phrase “speak life into your partner”, but I do remember the first time when I heard it and it actually stuck. I was listening to an episode of the podcast Awakened Women 20/20, when the host Tiuana was talking about speaking life into your partner and being intentional with the things you say to them.
When I heard this, something clicked for me and from that moment on, I’ve become intentional with the things I say to my husband and I try to be sure I am always speaking life into him.
What speaking life into your partner means to me is giving them something to live off with your words, as you could be educating them about something that they may need to know to help them. You could also be the person they come to when they are having a hard time, and you give them words of encouragement or words of affirmation. Pretty much anything that you can say to them adds value to their life.
I’m not going to say it will always make them or you feel good because sometimes it can be a needed but uncomfortable conversation.
However, it’s all about your intent. Are you trying to be helpful? Or are you trying to make them feel bad? Do you want them to grow? Or do you just want them to feel bad for making mistakes?
When you are in a relationship and have been with someone for a long time, it is easy to see all the things they are doing “wrong” or areas they need to improve on. But when we tell them about it, they don’t take it well.
I know for me I’m always looking for ways for me to grow and become a better person and I have this habit of trying to do the same for my husband. I’ve learned that the problem wasn’t with me telling him what he needed to improve on or do better, but it was how I was telling him and how often.
NO ONE wants to feel like they can’t do anything right, or no matter what they do it’s never good enough.
How Exactly Do You Speak Life Into Your Partner?
As always, this may not be for everyone, but I am sharing what has helped me in my own marriage and allows it to move in the right direction.
Always be helpful and solution oriented – If your partner comes to you with a issue, maybe needing advice or some sort of guidance and you only add to the problem or just point out what they did wrong, it doesn’t help the situation and it may deter them from coming back to you. When you are solution oriented, you may want to point out some things they need to do differently, but you also want to suggest something that they can do instead. Pointing out your partner’s flaws without any suggestion on a way to fix it is just you pointing out their flaws, and will most likely make them feel bad.
Be as calm as possible – This means your tone as well! The exclamation point is for me because I need to listen to this point more than anyone. I don’t know why, but my regular voice is an outdoor voice and has been that way all my life. I have to constantly do a tone check on myself because when I am passionate about something, it’s almost impossible for me to lower my voice. I have learned from experience and from him telling me that HE HEARS NOTHING I SAY WHEN I’M YELLING. Time and time again this have proven to be true. When I speak calmly and explain myself in a way he understands, I get a much better outcome. He’s more receptive to what I have to say and gives me less push back.
Words of Affirmation – If you’re familiar with the 5 love languages, this is one of them. If your partner’s primary love language is words of affirmation, this may be needed more than you know. However, everyone needs words of affirmation, as we all like to know when we are doing something well and appreciate being acknowledged for our efforts. Doing this lets your partner know you see what they are doing and that you care. This can make all the difference when it’s time to have an uncomfortable conversation, because it doesn’t seem like that all you are doing is pointing out the bad stuff.
These are just a few things I do to speak life into my husband and so far it has worked. As you know, just like everything, this is not easy. If you are not used to giving words of affirmation, being calm when speaking, or are solution oriented, it’s going to take some practice, but the more you do it the better you will become.
Along with the practice, your partner may not be as receptive at the beginning, because it is something they may not be used to. I’m big on communicating so when I identified this, I told my husband my intentions and what I planned on doing going forward.
There are still times when I slip back to my ways of speaking but the more I practice, the better I get at catching myself and correcting my words.
Most importantly, my husband notices my efforts and appreciates the change.
What are some other ways you can think of to speak life into your partner?