Effective communication is an important element of a successful marriage. If husband and wife value the significance of open communication, both should strive to listen when the other speaks and learn to speak what bothers them in a contructive manner. It´s better to raise your voice in a heated discussion than sit quietly opposite each other in a room, acting like everything´s fine, but deep inside are many unsolve issues.
The act of communication begins with an act of an expression (either verbal or nonverbal) by a person. The second person in the conversation does one of two things: He either responds in a positive way which enables further fruitful exchanges, or he reacts negatively, in which case communication starts to deteriorate. ~ Harold J. Sala
If you need help to transform your marriage, whether you´re newly wed, happily married, in a marriage crisis, or just in a relationship rut, read Joyce Meyer’s Making Marriage Work where she shared the principles to help energize and revitalize a relationship.
What Hinders Effective Communication?
1. Failure to really listen to each other hinders effective communication
Whenever I´m debating in a competition, while the opponent is delivering his speech I´m busy scribbling on my notes, picking only the major arguments from his speech and rapidly thinking how to defeat those points. In many cases, even if people aren´t debating in tournaments, they still behave like they do, not listening exactly while the speaker speaks, but instead forming arguments in their head to immediately bounce back to the speaker.
But communication in marriage isn´t about defeating each other, it´s about resolving issues, understanding each other, and sympathizing on what the other feels.
To effectively communicate is to listen with your mouth closed and concentrating on what is being said.
2. Anger short-circuits effective communication
The moment anger take over you, your ability to listen and think rationally is affected. You may still be able to communicate but not in a constructive manner, and often, things said when you´re angry are things you rather wouldn´t say if you weren´t angry.
He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding; but he that is hasty in spirit exalteth folly. ~ Proverbs 14: 29
3. A wounded spirit hurts effective communication
A perfect example of a wounded spirit is when you and your spouse fight and out of anger he criticized your mother´s interference to your marriage. Because you were disappointed you went to your mother and told her everything what your souse has said. Two days later your and your spouse have reconciled but your mom´s feelings were already hurt and this will lead to the deterioration of her communication to her son-in-law.
4. Fear of exposing your thoughts to ridicule or criticism hurts communication
If you know telling your spouse about what bothers you or about your disappointments at work will only result to you being ridiculed or criticized, you´re likely to keep things only to yourself.
For example, if your husband went home from work one evening frustrated that he didn´t get the promotion that he´d been working for, he tells you about it and you told him, “Maybe you weren´t good enough!” Don´t expect your husband to share any more work-related problems next time.
5. Frustration hinders effective communication
If you already tried to communicate to your spouse but you are only met with a negative response or you don´t achieve the response tat you expected for, you get frustrated. This prompts you to stop communicating and just keep things to your self.
Have you tried communicating to a person who don´t speak your language, whose language you cannot speak, and who also don´t speak English? That when you asks him where´s the way to the bank his answer is “Yeah.” ? That´s how frustrating it can be.
6. Lack of confidence hinders effective communication
There´s a show in German TV about couples who can´t handle their finances who seek help from an expert. One particular couple had a bungalow house, two cars, piano, drums, all the latest gadgets, and all the fancy stuff for their two boys. They have 33,000 euro debt and the husband recently lost his job. The interest of their debts is increasing rapidly each month.
The expert asked the couple why they really need two cars when the wife isn´t working and both cars were purchased by credit, the husband mumbles to his wife, “Yeah, we need two cars because one for winter and the other for summer vacation. We can´t sell any of the cars.” The wife replied with a shrug of shoulders, “If you say so.”
The expert caught it and repeated, “If you say so? Does it mean you don´t have a say in your finances?”
Because the wife doesn´t work, she felt that she has no right to speak out about their finances. She left all the decisions to her husband even if she saw that they were overwhelmed with debts. This is an example of how lack of confidence can hinder effective communication and how it can hurt the success of marriage.
How about you? How do you encourage effective communication in your marriage?