Husband: “ARE YOU CRAZY????!!!!!”
Wife: “YES! YOU DRIVE ME CRAZY! I HATE YOU SO MUCH RIGHT NOW. HOW DARE YOU HURT ME?”
How many of us have experienced this kind of blow out? Husband and wife screaming at each other, eventually getting so bad that they end up shoving each other or throwing things at each other. Yikes! What a painful scenario. When we hurt, when we have experienced trauma and are completely over stressed — all of this starts affecting our relationships on all levels.
The above example is not a healthy way of communicating with your partner. Would you love a marriage that is filled with passion, excitement and mutual respect? Now the key to experiencing the type of marriage you’ve always dreamed about is effective communication — we tend to act like idiots when we are stressed and unhappy. This becomes a cycle and it gets worse. So check yourself here!
At the foundation of every intimate relationship is communication. The greater the depth of communication, the stronger the bond is between you and your spouse. Of course, there is more to the recipe for a good relationship with anyone than just communication. But good communication is really right up there with the important ingredients of having a really good relationship.
Marriages survive and thrive when each person shares their thoughts and feelings on a regular basis. You develop trust in your relationship by sharing your heart and allowing yourself to become vulnerable. You make that trust grow when you resolve to become a person that makes your spouse feel safe to open up and be vulnerable when it is necessary as well. Vulnerability in itself is a strength, it is not a weakness. Vulnerability shows our partner something deeper, it shares with them a piece of our soul. You have to cultivate environment where you can allow your partner to feel safe to express themselves, without judgement. If your partner doesn’t feel safe enough to share or be themselves, they will do so behind your back. Do you really want to be left out of the loop and cultivate a relationship where you actually don’t know your partner?
Your marriage or relationship can often cause complicated emotions within the both of you. If you commit to seeing the other person’s point of view (in other words, step into their shoes) and creating an atmosphere of safety and open communication, you can experience a close marriage/relationship even when life presents its biggest challenges. When a relationship has that good fine balance of communication as well as “allowing” the other person to be, it can make for a very happy relationship, which in turn will help create a less stressful life. Who needs more stress in their life when they can be happy and can let go of all those shields.
These tips can help you communicate effectively with your spouse:
- Above all, love each other. Decide that being loving is more important than being right. If you’re willing to concede in a disagreement, you can diffuse many angry situations without them escalating into a major confrontation. Obviously — you cannot allow someone to bulldoze you. If you are in a relationship where your partner does bulldoze you, it’s okay to set your boundaries.
- Notice the warning signs of an escalating discussion. If you’re starting to raise your voice or say hurtful things to your partner, take a walk and cool off, don’t just walk off — rather tell them you don’t want to say anything nasty and would like to take a few minutes to cool down so you can have a open and calm discussion. Now, there is another trap people fall into — don’t walk off, cool down and pretend nothing has happened. Sit down with your partner and have a discussion. Many couples make the mistake to just leave it all there — so nothing get’s resolved — what this will do is create more problems, it will create another unsolved thing. That means that there’s a leak in your relationship — you’re losing a precious resource unnecessarily. Be brave, sort it out and then move on.
- Instead of thinking about all the reasons the other person is wrong, examine the part you might have played in things getting to this level. If you are presenting with physical signs like; shaking or clenching fists it is best to walk away from the conversation until you are able to handle it better.
- When you return, apologize for your part in the disagreement. Usually, both parties shoulder some part of the blame in an argument. Then, calmly express your feelings. Most likely, you will find that it was only a misunderstanding and that it wasn’t necessary to get upset at all. REMEMBER: “We see things not as they are, but how we are.” — Anais Nin
- Be careful to speak in terms of how things have affected you, instead of pointing fingers at the other person. Think of the discussion as one you would have with a teammate that is trying to solve the problem, and not as an enemy that must be defeated at all costs. “I” is better than “You”. “I feel” is usually a better way of communication than “You did”, which creates a lot of tension when you are trying to resolve a argument.
- Many people think that compromise is an ugly word. However, learning to compromise is a valuable key to peace in your home and in your marriage or relationship. Decide that you’ll seek a win-win solution in every situation. When you face a disagreement, think about how both of you can get what you want and need. You could create a list about how you can both get what you want, and use that to help you over the hump. a Relationship takes team work, and in the end of the day you are a team. How can you be part of this team to make it better in any way?
- If you both give in a little, you show each other that you’re committed to the relationship above all else. You show your love for your partner in a tangible way when you sacrifice a little of what you want for the good of both of you. Actions speak louder than words, and when we compromise and we come from a place of love and understanding both of you will feel that you have a wonderful partner.
- Listen Effectively. Too Many disagreements are caused by a failure to listen attentively and empathetically to your partner. If you learn to listen effectively, your arguments will be shorter and your marriage will be a sweet fellowship of two people who love each other. Cultivate a “listening” posture. Sit up straight and face your partner with an open body language. You are on a unconscious level showing that you are open and receptive to what they have to say and this helps you absorb what they are communicating to you.
- When the other person is speaking, resist the temptation to interrupt. Instead of thinking about what you’re going to say to counter your partner’s statements, pay close attention. You have probably heard about the quote “The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.” And this is true, we are constantly in a state of “defending ourselves”. When your spouse is finished, repeat in your own words what was said. Say, “What I hear you saying is… Is that what you’re saying?”
- This gives your spouse a chance to correct your understanding if you’ve misunderstood what was said. It also shows your partner that you care about solving the problem instead of simply winning the argument. You’ll experience greater emotional intimacy and a quicker resolution that both of you can be happy with.
Strive to embrace difficult conversations as an opportunity to deepen your relationship and show your spouse how much you care. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes, seek a solution that makes both of you happy, and let go of the need to be right. If you do, you’ll experience a vibrant, exciting marriage relationship that survives the tough times and lasts a lifetime.
To your Love, Happiness and Success