Are issues swamping your marriage making you feel walled in, more so as you are unable to openly talk to your partner about them? Irrespective of the many talks with your partner on the issues affecting your marriage, is the status still ‘lock-down’? These are some of the indicators of a communication break-down in a marriage and often, we wonder how it got so bad without our notice…May and Henry briefly share their story.
Excerpt from An online Course: Where God puts two hearts in a home
“May and Henry were such a promising couple. For as long as they could remember, they had been best friends. They had similar interests, they were both Christians, their families knew each other well, they both graduated from a prestigious college, and they both had similar life goals and ambitions. When they decided to get married, everyone seemed sure that theirs would be a happy marriage!
For the first few years after the wedding, things went along fairly smoothly. Slowly, without much notice, May and Henry began to drift apart. Little things started to come between them. Henry refused to turn the TV off when they ate meals together. May thought she was being spiritual by keeping her lonely and sad feelings to herself. Bigger issues soon stressed their marriage further. Henry‘s new job required him to travel. They had their first child, which exhausted most of May‘s emotional energy. Before long there was a wall between them that kept them from any meaningful communication.
Everyone in the family was shocked, when one day May stunned Henry by saying that she didn‘t love him anymore and that she wanted a divorce. Henry was devastated. For three days he didn‘t eat or sleep. He just cried out to the Lord to help him know how to save his marriage. He determined before God that he would do whatever it took to tear down the walls in their marriage and to rebuild their love and communication. He went to May and begged her to give him six months for their relationship to change. He explained that, with God‘s help, he was determined to make things right between them. She reluctantly agreed but told him that he should not expect any feelings of love from her, because she did not have any to give.
What had gone wrong? Because of Henry‘s travel and TV-watching, he had stopped communicating with his wife. May‘s tiredness and her unwillingness to share her deep feelings had also stopped her from communicating with her husband. The result was an invisible wall between them. This is a true story that started out promising, but turned sour. The good news is that May and Henry did learn how to tear down the wall and to begin communicating with each other again. Today, their marriage is happy and thriving. Divorce is the farthest thing from their minds!
It is key for the marital couples to appreciate that communication is integral to a marriage relationship. In fact, communication is to marriage what your heart is to your body. Every sixty seconds, your heart propels blood through your arteries out to the network of tiny capillaries, which carry the building blocks of life to every cell. When that blood has permeated the body, the heart pushes it farther along the loop into the veins, which carry it back toward the heart. On the return trip, the blood carries your body‘s harmful wastes to trade for fresh oxygen in the lungs before passing through the heart again. If the heart stops beating, the life of the body comes to a halt and all becomes static, stagnant. The body begins to decay.
In the same way as a heart is the central pump of an effective circulatory system, effective communication is central to a healthy marriage. Communication lies at the heart of how everything else functions. Effective communication feeds the cells of your relationship, helps rid it of contaminants, maintains balance, nourishes, and keeps your relationship thriving and strong.”
In effective Communication we need to appreciate that:-
- Iron sharpens Iron… husband and wife need each other to have an effective communication….talk and listen to one another; and this necessitates us to make use of the verbal, non-verbal and value components in our communication for clarity.
- God wired men and women differently. Generally, a woman bases her communication on emotions; while a man bases his communication on logic and wisdom. So, in a marriage, one’s strength is another’s weakness and couples have to appreciate this and work with one another to become effective communicators in marriage.
Some of the springs to communication–breakdown in a marriage are:-
- Disinterest …. A spouse withdraws from the partner and normally uses silence (no feedback given on an issue), refuses to act, change. This causes walls to come up in a marriage.
- Overbearing …A spouse controls another spouse or their communication by using violence in form of words, actions and ‘vibrating silence’.
- Fear…. A spouse keeps on surrendering to the desires or will of one spouse for the sake of peace in a marriage.
- Dysfunctional communication where partners set out to ‘win’ an argument against another; creating an impasse to exist in a relationship of a husband and his wife.
If May and Henry could learn to communicate with one another and tear down the walls between them, you and your spouse can learn how, too. With God all things are possible! Good communication is key to both tearing down walls and keeping them down so that marriages can thrive.