The Sunday News
COMMUNICATION is a key piece of healthy relationships healthy couples make time to check in with one another on a regular basis.
It is important to talk to each other than at each other because marriage is more than just parenting and maintaining the household and taking care of bills. Marriage is a full-time job on its own and people should have healthy marriages for them to love and appreciate each other so they can grow old together. Most of us know by now that the fairy tale happily ever after stories are full of holes.
Dashing men on horses do not usually rescue helpless women and live happily ever after in real life. However, most of us do not know how inaccurate our current popular expectations and beliefs are about what makes marriage work (and by this I mean any long term committed romantic relationship). Mostly we look around at such things as divorce statistics and maintenance issues flooding the courts and when we see that a lot of marriages do not work as they crumble we get into panic mode and expect the same to happen to our own homes.
I also think assumptions kill everything and it is unfair to use what is happening around you as dipstick to measure your own success or fall of marriage. The problem with using statistics is that the numbers we rely on do not tell us what allowed some relationships to last and others to break up, and they do not tell us how much overall satisfaction existed in those relationships that stayed together or broke down.
Sadly most marriages collapse because of things that can be resolved and in most cases it always starts with mis-communication. Every couple has at least one (and usually more) subject that they dance around and try to ignore because it causes conflict.
It could be money, love or sex issues but there is always that one thing they have agreed to disagree on and because it is a source of conflict it is never put to rest. In most cases it could be that one wants to save money and the other wants to spend or it could be a commitment that one wants to make and the other would like to put it off. It could be sex issues, one may want more and the other could be perfectly happy with thge way things are.
Couples need to know that arguing is not necessarily bad for your marriage because at times when you remain silent, the confusion and misunderstandings are more likely to build and grow.
Anger that is shoved down is just as unhealthy as anger that has exploded. At times the longer you let an argument go on, the more distant you become and the more damage that occurs and sometimes it is impossible to repair and that is when people serve each other divorce papers. At times when we are angry as human beings we explode and it is not right to do that as words said can never be unsaid and our actions can never be undone, we need to be careful on how we deal with anger. Anger is an emotion neither right nor wrong in itself. There is no morality to feelings, morality only comes into play when you take a destructive action as a result of a feeling.
Communication is vital in any marriage and arguments or disagreements are very healthy but the most important thing is how you argue or settle things.
Find out more about what your partner thinks and wants. There are so many ways of arguing or disagreeing right. Surely you can never be always synched to agree on the same things all the time.
When you set aside blame and take a wider view of the decision or troubling situation, you can more easily see where there is overlap between what you want and what your partner wants.
From that place of overlap, come up with an agreement because when you work together, you may find the new solution is actually better than what either of you were individually set on. Be specific and affirmative with your agreement so that you both are on board and understand what the next step will be.
Often we forget that we are different and have different opinions, different memories, and different perceptions of what actually happened and there is no one right way. Even if you totally and absolutely know that you are right . . . all you know is your perspective. When you do not allow the other their perspective, there is only one person in the room. There is no room for two and communication is stopped, killed and truly your marriage will not function fully.
There are so many ways of dealing with issues that resolve them better than fighting each other and “fixing” each other as I have often heard people say they are good at “fixing” people. The key and success to a healthy marriage is constant communication and dealing with unresolved anger. Do not bottle things up or have a confrontational attitude.
When you are wrong please do not hesitate to say “I am sorry.” These are the wonder words that make your partner lose all anger. In fact, it leaves no room for further debate. Be willing to concede when you were in the wrong.
Stubbornness or “fixing” is never going to help your relationship, so go ahead and communicate effectively and have healthy and happy marriages. Practice saying what is right and talk with each other than at each other constantly. Let’s keep talking. Next week we are talking about letter writing in marriages.
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