• Kwame Frimpong

Communication – a Cornerstone for a Happy Marriage

We, human beings, are social species, which means cooperation lies at the heart of our lives and society. We depend on corporations to survive and thrive. Our connection should not only be at the physical level, we need an emotional connection too. Marriage is the best institution designed to exploit our social nature. A good marriage creates a good environment for exchanging emotions, desires, and beliefs.

The vehicle that drives our social nature is communication. Communication is the only way to let other people understand who we are, which will enable them to respond to our needs - both at physical and emotional levels. Therefore, communication becomes one of the fundamental aspects of a happy and satisfying marriage.

Love, trust, and honesty are indeed fundamental factors for developing and maintaining a successful marriage. However, all these factors can only exist when the couple is capable of communicating effectively. For instance, love can only exist between couples when both of them have a clear sense of empathy that they have for each other. Empathy has to be communicated through verbal and non-verbal methods.

Many marriages experience rough times, which sometimes lead to divorce, due to a lack of proper communication between couples. When there is a lack of good communication, many couples end up developing bad behavior and creating bad patterns when things are not working out between them.


How Does Communication Work?

You will often hear many people in troubled marriages say, “We just don’t communicate anymore." You may wonder what that phrase means. Most likely, they mean there is no more effective communication between them. The reality is that people communicate all the time. Even when couples give each other a silent treatment, they are still communicating. The following are some pathways of communication within a marriage.

· Spoken or written communication

· Non-verbal physical expression including behavior, gestures, and facial expression.

· Emotion

· Touch

All these communication pathways are significant in developing proper communication in a marriage. It is easy to focus on words, but this is a fraction of information that is shared back and forth between couples.

How to Improve Communication in Marriage

People often wonder about what causes a lack of communication in marriages. In most cases, the problem arises because people do not know how to handle disagreements productively. Consequently, they develop distractive patterns such as pushing each other away. Such a non-productive approach usually leads to more difficulty resolving issues in the future. Here are some factors to consider when handling a disagreement.


Avoid Blame Game, It Doesn’t Work

One of the things to avoid, when a disagreement arises, is playing a blame game. Blame games will just make your partner shut down. It is important to choose your words correctly. For example, there is a big difference between, “You always come home late; you don't care about me and the kids" and “I am frustrated you are coming home late yet again. I miss spending time with you.”


Learn to Listen

Quite often people fight to make a point instead of hearing out their partner in an argument. Moreover, if they listen, they do so to respond not to understand their partners. Any communication that takes such an approach is likely to create a wider rift than that which existed before the argument. If you want to have a productive communication, especially when dealing with a disagreement, you must learn to listen to understand – not to reply or to win an argument.

It works when you listen to what your partner has to say to help you put yourself into their shoes rather than to attack them back or defend yourself. Learn how to admit when you are wrong. Humility and empathy will get your marriage further than trying to point fingers. Admitting that one is wrong may be hard for most people because we are naturally defensive. However, you must work on it until you crush out the ego and breakdown the selfish defensive barrier. This trait will not only save your marriage but your general social life.


Make Use of the Point of Agreement – Don't Be Mean

A good way of solving problems together is beginning with questions that you know your partner will respond with a "Yes" to. This tactic will put the two of you on the same page. The more agreement point you have the easier it will be to come into a consensus of the whole issue at hand.


Show Respect

Everyone wants to feel valued and respected, and that includes your partner during an argument. Make sure every one of you feels respected by each other. Your partner will listen to you as much as you listen to them.

Make sure that your partner feels valued all the time.


Hate Sin Love the Sinner

This is a golden rule considering that we are prone to mistakes in our marriages. Learn to stop confusing your partner with the problem. If they do something wrong, your problem should be on the wrong they have done not them. Attack the wrong act not them. This is the wisest way of solving a problem in a manner that will leave you both of you love each other.

Try to show love to your partner and treat them with dignity even when they are wrong. This will win their heart and next time when you are the one on the wrong, they will treat you in a similar way.


Conclusion

Marriage is the most beautiful social gift that has ever been given to humanity. When your marriage if functioning properly, it is easier to be the best person you can ever be both to yourself, to your family, and even to your community. Just don't blow it away because of poor communication. Practice the above skills and you will experience little friction in your marriage, especially those that result from disagreements. Additionally, understand that communication is a science and strive to learn more.

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