Communication is vital in any relationship but even more so in a marriage. In order to stay connected, a couple must talk to each other about what is going on in their lives. Because men and women communicate and receive information differently, disagreements are inevitable. At times a couple doesn’t know how to get their point across or express themselves, so they withdraw or detach themselves from their spouse, just to avoid a conflict. However if things aren’t discussed in a marriage, it will ultimately damage the relationship. When trying to communicate with your spouse you should keep the following in mind.
Blame: In the heat of an argument, a person sometimes refuses to take responsibility for his/her actions, so they blame one another. It takes 2 to work on a marriage and 2 to settle a disagreement. So it’s important to remember that although 1 person may have started the argument, both are responsible for their part in it. Blaming your spouse will never be effective and will only make things worse.
Word Choices: in the heat of the moment a couple doesn’t think about the words that they are about to say and how devastating they can be to the other person. They are so angry that just about anything they speak can cut like a knife. So it’s imperative that during a disagreement you choose your words wisely, otherwise it will escalate into a verbal war. Once a word is spoken it cannot be taken back and will always be remembered.
Silent Separation: When a person struggles to put their feelings into words, they sometimes withdraw and shut the other person out through silence. However, it’s important to remember that neither party has the ability to read the other’s mind and with silence, comes assumption. A person is left to guess what is going on and draw their own conclusion. 99 percent of the time they are wrong and this just adds to the original problem.
Listening: In order to effectively communicate, it’s necessary for the couple to listen to what the other has to say. In many cases some couples are so eager to say what’s on their mind that they don’t take the time to listen to what their spouse is saying. So instead of preparing a come back, listen to your spouse attentively. What they say may make a big difference and even end an argument.
Apologize: Saying sorry is difficult when you hurt someone. But this is the first step in making a mends with your spouse. The longer it takes to apologize, the longer the argument will last. Sometimes we have to lay down our pride and admit our short comings, even when we don’t want to.
Forgiveness: Accepting one’s apology and offering forgiveness can also be difficult when someone hurts you. However it should happen quickly. Some couples will go days and sometimes weeks giving their spouse the cold shoulder, just so they have the upper hand and this is also their way of making the other person “pay” for what they did. Unforgiveness causes more damage to a relationship and pushes the couple farther away from each other. The sooner you forgive, the sooner you’ll be reconciled to one another.
On their wedding day a couple promised to stay together for richer and poorer, through sickness and in health, and through the good and the bad, so working on communication should go hand in hand with those vows. Effective communication can not only benefit a marriage but it can bring a couple closer together.