Oceans of Intimacy

Are you a “Dead Sea” or a “babbling brook”? Those odd labels describe different communication styles that often exist between husbands and wives.

Dr. Gary Chapman says some spouses communicate like the Dead Sea in Israel. The Jordan River flows into it, but nothing flows out. A Dead Sea spouse takes in the world around them, but he or she is perfectly happy not to talk about any of it.

Babbling brooks, on the other hand, are a constant flow of water. They interact with the world as well, but they love to talk about it – all of it. As soon as they walk in the door at night they’re ready to discuss every detail of their day.

Those differences can pose quite a problem for a marriage. The babbling brook complains that their Dead Sea spouse doesn’t talk much. And the Dead Sea spouse complains that their babbling brook talks all the time.

One answer to this dilemma is to recognize that the goal isn’t for one spouse’s communication style to win out over the other. Instead, grow toward each other. Dead Sea people can learn to speak more than they normally do, and babbling brooks can talk less, ask more questions, and become better listeners.

Seek common ground and find ways to meet each other’s needs. The goal isn’t for couples to be Dead Seas or babbling brooks but to swim together in an ocean of intimacy.

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