“Got Communication Issues?”
Every couple that I know has experienced having issues with communication at some point in their relationship. The interesting thing is that it doesn’t matter how long you have been married, you can still have communication issues. Based on my research, a couple never really arrives in this area because as the years go on, things/people are constantly changing. I just spoke to a couple who have been married for 33 years and they said that they are still working on communication. This issue is so important because it affects the lifeline of the marriage. Some marriages don’t survive because they have never learned how to improve their communication.
What are the communication issues? Here are four communication issues that many couples have experienced at some point in their relationship. Can you identify with any of these?
- Lack of communication – We talk a little but not much. We talk about the things on the surface but not about the real issues in our marriage. You feel like your spouse is not telling you everything, something is being left out.
- No communication – You get angry and stop talking. You shut down. You feel as if you and your spouse are existing but not really saying anything to each other. This could also be the silent treatment.
- Bad communication – We talk but what we say to each other is not good. We use file language, call each other names and curse each other out. We really don’t respect one another. We raise our voice and yell at one another. You are afraid to express yourself because of how your spouse may respond.
- Mis-Communication – We are talking but we constantly mis-understand one another. He or she says one thing, but I am hearing another. You say one thing and he/she just doesn’t get what you are saying. You don’t feel like you spouse is really hearing you.
Many of us think that we are communicating when we let words come out of our mouth. However, “words being uttered does not mean that communication is taking place.” Here are few tips from the book: Improving Communication in Your Marriage by Family Life.” Good communication consist of three components:
- Expressing – Clearly expressing yourself. Share your true feelings. Talk openly about what you think, feel and what you need in the situation that you are discussing.
- Listening – Listen to your spouse without interrupting. Give each other the spotlight and take turns talking. Listening carefully is the key to understanding your spouse’s true needs. Proverbs
- Responding – After expressing and listening, the next step is to respond. You must go beyond listening. You have to join the conversation, seek to really understand your spouse and then give some feedback. The goal is to give appropriate feedback.
I know this sounds simple but many are struggling with successfully communicating. We really have to watch what what we say and how we say it. The tongue is such a deadly weapon and it can kill a relationship (James 3:3-12). When communication is an issue, I highly recommend that you pray before you speak. Ask God to give you the words to say and to help you to understand your spouse. Be intentional about including God in your communication. He will help you to stay calm when you want to explode, keep your voice down and say what needs to be said. There is so much more that I could say on this issue, but I will stop here. I hope this helps somebody today. Be encouraged and know that it can get better. You are not alone. Don’t give up! Good communication takes work and practice. Remember that God can make it better!
Until next week,