Communication is a factor in every relationship. In fact, it’s so important that in a committed relationship you cannot communicate. Everything you do, or don’t do, communicates. When you believe this, your goal shifts—you want to handle the messages from others and clearly say what you mean.Even so, there are some things when it comes to communication that are just killers in marriage .
When you understand that there are four seasons in every year, that it’s cold in winter and hot in summer, it’s easier to change your clothes than it is to try and change the season. It’s not possible to change the season—and it’s also not possible to change your spouse—or anyone else you know and love.
It’s only possible to change yourself. Is it possible you might need to change the way you communicate in your marriage?While harsh startup, flooding, and body language are destructive, the four horsemen provide the deadliest blow to marriage.These four horsemen are criticism, defensiveness, stonewalling, and contempt—with contempt being the most lethal.
Contempt is intentionally abusing your spouse—verbally, emotionally, and psychologically. Contempt expresses the complete absence of any admiration and is delivered with insults, name-calling, hostile humor, mockery, and body language. Contempt is toxic, and its presence is an indication of a disintegrating marriage.
Understanding the difference between criticizing and complaining is more than semantics, because criticism is the slippery slope that slides into contempt.Criticisms creep in when complaints are ignored. Criticisms are global attacks on character and on worth, and they target the shortcomings of the other person.
When you stonewall, you avoid the hard work of growing up, either because you’re unaware of your own feelings or because you’re afraid of conflict. Rather than dealing directly with an issue or with your spouse, you check out—you tune out, turn away, and engage in busyness or obsessive behaviors.
Put another way—you simply stop relating to the most important person in your life.
Most couples wait for six years after they know their relationship is in serious trouble before they seek counseling. Evidence continues to mount that both individual and family therapy save money by cutting health expenditures, reducing employee absenteeism, and boosting productivity.
Start where you are in your relationship. Use the tools you have—blogs, books, therapists, coaches, online classes .Do what you can to take responsibility for your part by becoming the bestyou can be. Once you’re on the path to being the YOU, you’re well on your way to being in the best marriage.