It all starts with a diamond ring and the proposal. Well, it may be a surprise or a planned act but the common fact is that it binds the soulmates together for eternity. This is the vision of a dream marriage which is rather hypothetical with regard to the word, “ together for eternity”. The vows are exchanged and they promise to love, respect and stand by each other till death. But, what transpires is something wholly extraordinary a few weeks after the marriage itself.
Marriage is not a bed of roses and involves a balancing act to deal with the unexpected. There are the in-laws, new relatives, conflicts of egos to begin. Not to mention the expectations from the professional and personal front in matters of career and kids. Now, what looked like togetherness without an iota of doubt looks like a massive well of challenges, responsibilities, and sacrifices! This is what scares most couples and gradually makes them drift apart if there exists a communication gap between them.
I will quote a famous saying from the Genesis and Ephesians which goes,
“As a husband, I will: love, lead and provide”
“As a wife, I will: help, manage and love”
There needs to be a fine line drawn between what duty falls under whose territory to keep a balance and not make it a battle of the sexes.
The Beginning Steps
The most common mistake many couples make as they set on this new journey is ignoring their partner’s feelings. They fail to understand that it was only about them before marriage and now this equation has changed completely. Many more aspects, relationship changes, and expectations are added and subtracted from both sides of the equation and the result is a completely
If the husband or wife is facing any issue and is trying to communicate it with their partner, then it should be given an ear and not an earful! It is better to take out time, sit and talk your heart out about the problem and try to reach a solution or at least a compromise. If there’s no ill-feeling in the heart then it will never resurface again. Unsolved issues can become a precursor to problems in the future.
The Expected to Read my Mind stage
You could have been the best of friends and could have answered any quirky or
peculiar question about your spouse before marriage. But, it slowly seems to
become a skill you had never mastered before. With the changing dynamics of
relationships, it will seem as if your spouse is unable to read your mind and
understand you as he or she used to before.
These unrealistic expectations now set the stage for more of the ‘you do not care about me’ or the ‘you do not love me anymore’ kind of dialogues . The solution is simple, don’t expect too much from your partner and spare them the guilt.Period.
It may be wise to communicate by spending some time alone like going out together or doing any activity you enjoy to build upon your expected communication style.
Keep Calm and Don’t Respond
You may be surprised that it is not the partner who initiates the problem is not the one prolonging the problem. If the responding partner decides to remain quiet and respond with love then it immediately extinguishes the fire and calms his or her spouse.
I would like to support this ideology with a saying from the Bible, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” It is not about who is right or wrong in the situation but it is about who takes control
of it using the most gentle words.
Time it Right
Cabby was a very outspoken woman and her husband was equally soft-spoken and egocentric. They always ended up yelling at each other for the smallest of arguments and could find no solution to it.
They used to verbally abuse each other in front of their kids and parents which led to further emotional stress. After consulting a marriage counsellor, they were advised to not stop arguing but to argue at the right time and place! Yes, they were told to lock themselves in their room and silently argue and sort it out and spare the kids.
If there is any problem which needs to be sorted soon, then the correct time is when your spouse is in a good mood and relaxed and not when he or she has just returned from work or is going to bed.
Say it with love
There is no weapon stronger than love and it is the ultimate peacemaker between
the husband and wife. So, why not try to communicate your feelings and problems
There will be more probability of winning your spouse to your side and not make
him or her feel more respected for their opinion.
The way of expressing love may not necessarily be verbal all the time as many
assume. Some people say and believe that acts of love which denote appreciation
and sharing of burden are better expressions of love.
So, go ahead and cook the dinner, babysit the toddler or even clean up the garden
or do the laundry as a surprise for your spouse.
Walk in my shoes..
Many couples blame that their spouse cannot understand the situation they are facing and are not being considerate enough towards them. This is the typical ‘you can’t understand me till you walk in my shoes’ problem. I would say why don’t the two of you share the shoe and walk in it together. The statement itself involves criticism and sends negative vibes to your partner. Wouldn’t it be better to communicate the problem and involve them in your current problematic situation and try to ease the burden off your shoulder?
Consider the scenario where Julia is a stay at home mother who has left her job to take care of her children. Her husband, Charles is a coast guard and his duty requires him to stay away from home and report for duty at unexpected hours. She feels frustrated having to take care of the kids and the house all the time and having a setback in her career. She blames her husband for not taking out time to relieve the burden and problems start creeping into their marriage. The complaint is that Charles is unable to walk in her shoes and understand how tiresome it is to be a full-time mom.
Yes, agreed. It is one of the most difficult and underrated jobs in the world but did she even ask him if he could help her by taking out time for the family?
She was counselled for stress management and timing her chores to set up a proper schedule in the house. Her husband, Charles was to be involved in setting up the schedule and duties and the division of the home management duties.
They were told to be more considerate, humorous and appreciative towards each other and never let the communication break apart.
If there was any disagreement or any chore unattended, they were advised to write notes to each other and try to coordinate the task without being sarcastic. Slowly, their lives started falling back on track and their bond became more strong
even with their kids.
Effective communication between couples cannot be taught and there are no hard and fast rules to be followed to achieve it. It goes by the trial and error method and the degree of understanding and respect between the couple shapes it.
I would like to finally top it all up with a little poem which comes to my mind.
As the tides of the ocean come racing towards us
Drenching us with their foamy ripples of change
Come clasp my hand and face the high tide
And swim through challenges of the unseen
Not a single incongruous problem shall pass
Without a solid response from our love
It will mingle with the tranquil waves
And be swallowed up by the mighty ocean
Together we shall swim against the tide
And submerge underneath the sparkling sunset
Watching the waters glow with lights divine
Drenching the fear as two shards of twine