Even though the small unmatched oxen couldn't communicate with words, their actions were clearly in sync as they were able to move the heavy load. Their teamwork helped them win the competition. Much like the oxen learning to be equally yoked, it takes time for husbands and wives to learn to work together as a team. In the moments when one seems to be running faster than the other, being yoked together with a common purpose can bring clarity and understanding through the rough times.
When your in the thick of parenting a special needs child, it becomes even more important to find ways to remain yoked together. The added stress can cause a spouse to "leap forward" or try and "free themselves" from the yoke. Communication becomes a vital tool in expressing to one another concerns that may be causing a disruption in your marriage. Just as the oxen had to learn to work in sync, it will take time for couples to adapt and become one in purpose. Don't be discouraged with the learning process of becoming equally yoked. Seek to understand how your spouse is feeling and make necessary changes to be more equally yoked. Look for ways to communicate and be one in purpose.
Following are the guidelines for the Speaker-Listener Technique that can be used to allow each partner the ability to discuss their feelings without interruption or judgement.
1. The speaker has the floor. Choose an item that the speaker holds when it is there turn to talk.
2. Share the floor. Each person is allotted an amount of time to be the speaker while the other person listens.
3. There is no problem solving. It isn't a time for the listener to try and solve the problems of the speaker.
Rules for the Speaker:
1. Speak for yourself.
2. Don't go on and on.
3. Stop and let the listener paraphrase what you said to ensure they are understanding what you are trying to say.
Rules for the Listener:
1. Paraphrase what the speaker is saying.
2. Don't rebut what the speaker says. Remember, it is their feelings.
Taking time to practice the Speaker-Listener Technique will enhance the communication in your marriage. Your relationship is worth it!