Do you ever find yourself trying to communicate with your spouse and they just aren’t hearing what you’re saying? It’s like we’re speaking two different languages! The old joke goes that a wife calls her husband around 4 in the afternoon and says, “Hey, can you pick up a gallon of milk?” Husband says, “Sure, it’s only about 8 lbs.” Waaa Waaa. What we have here is a clear miscommunication. There are two different languages we speak as couples.  Work Talk and Heart Talk.


Work Talk is the task oriented, schedule driven, let’s get stuff done kind of communication that can help make a weekly schedule.

Work Talk sounds like this: “Let’s divide and conquer this TO DO list. You go to the grocery and pick up the cleaning. I’ll fill up the car and take the kids to the birthday party. We can fix dinner after we both get back and watch that new movie on Netflix.”

It’s all very linear and task oriented. It’s the kind of talk that helps us get through the week and gives us a sense of accomplishment.


Heart Talk is the feelings and longings, connection and bonding talk we use when we want to relate on a deeper level. It encourages getting in touch with your emotions and verbalizing them in “I feel…” statements that help us better understand our spouse. It helps us see into their view of the current and future hopes and dreams.

“In a nutshell, loving is about giving, not receiving.”
– Nicholas Sparks

Heart Talk is all over the place – because you can “chase” the subject of Heart Talk, hopes and dreams from one universe to another. The objective to this conversation it to CONNECT.  

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”
– J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)

Both types of talk are important for great communication.

How-To Guide for Heart Talk using an ICU ATTITUDE

Click “Read More” for the I.C.U. of Heart Talk!

When using Heart Talk it is vital to use an I.C.U. attitude:


Speaker: Get in touch with your emotion.

Listener: Focus on your spouse’s feelings.


Speaker: Ask for time and give your heart a voice.

Listener: Allow your heart to be impacted.


Speaker: Seek understanding and express emotion.

Listener: Demonstrate understanding.


Remember the I.C.U. of Heart Talk next time you sit down and share deep emotional things with your spouse. Make sure you are as good a listener as you are a talker.


Source:  National Institute of Marriage

Now let us know your biggest challenge as a listener?  Perhaps it’s the boss that never asks only tells or the neighbor that rages about other neighbors.  What’s your challenge?