Some couples have great difficulty communicating and recognize what they do.
Other couples have great difficulty communicating and just don’t see this.
What makes this difficult for some of us is what we bring into our marriage. One person may come from a family that is open, engaging, and nurturing. Meanwhile that person’s spouse may come from a family that is manipulative, calculating, and threatening. Both of these people may see their families of origin as “normal.” Yet, their respective families communicated in very different ways.
What kinds of behaviors make good communication in marriage difficult?
1. Frequently criticizing your spouse. Nothing is more tiresome than being with a constant critic. Unfortunately some men and women bring into their marriages a habit of constantly criticizing. Again and again they communicate to their spouse that they just don’t measure up. Such criticism has a way of wearing others out.
2. Attempting to manipulate your spouse. For example, a woman has been asking her husband to vacuum the house. She has asked him three times. He then offers to go to the store. He secretly plans to stay a long time, thinking that she will get fed up with the situation and vacuum the house herself. Relating to one another through manipulation and a hidden agenda will only hurt the marriage. How sad when a wife (or husband) must wonder what her spouse is up to because she has learned that he schemes and manipulates.
3. Using damaging, hurtful words. In marriage, we learn over time about the vulnerabilities of our spouses. Yet, suppose a person gets angry and then uses hurtful words directed toward a tender place in his wife’s heart. She finally learns that he cannot be trusted with her heart and she puts up an emotional wall for protection. Not good for a marriage.
4. Acting as if one person is superior and the other is inferior. Some men act as if their wives are really stupid. Jokes are made about her that subtly put her down. Some wives act as if their husbands are complete idiots. He is talked about as if he just doesn’t get it.
5. Using silence instead of engaging. “Well I don’t communicate well.” Really? Does this mean that you get a pass from communicating? Does this mean that your wife or husband is just supposed to go on with life? No one gets a pass from communicating, not if you are married. Not communicating well simply means that you have located an area in your life in which you need to learn and grow
What other behaviors make good communication in marriage difficult?