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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

How Communication affects Marriage

Written by: Micheal McGrath and Nicole Gregoire

Did you ever wake up early in the morning and lie still listening to the different sounds around you?

Most certainly you will have heard the birds singing. If you listened well you will have noticed that every bird has its own cry to which its mate answers in a special way. If you are living in town, when you wake up you are probably annoyed at the cars hooting and all the noise in the busy streets.

But when you go to the countryside, you can again listen to all the sounds of the dawn. Similarly, in the stillness of the evening, you can hear the insects calling to one another in their own language. Yes, even in the animal world there is communication.

Among human beings communication is greater and deeper. It is a real need. What do the children in a boarding school do when away from home? They remember their home and their parents and they want to keep in touch, so they write letters. Letters are for them a means of communication.

And what do you yourself do if you have just heard some good news? You can’t keep it to yourself. You feel the need to share this happiness with someone.

Love is something that grows, develops. The first way in which love can grow and blossom is through communication. Love needs to communicate, and if it does not communicate it dies. The day love stops talking, it dies, its flow stops.

If we look at the word itself, we can understand some of its meaning:


Communication is to make one with somebody. Communication is different from information. Information is simply sending out a message. Communication is a two – way traffic: it is a sending out and receiving all at once.

Through communication, a relationship or bond is created between two people. This bond will become stronger through more communication that is through more give and take. This is really what communication is all about: I give something and I receive something, and this is on the basis of love. In simple words, we communicate to make ourselves known to another and to make ourselves received by that other.

It is important that we say this: communication is for love what the blood is for the body. We all know how our blood is really the stream of life in us. If the blood is attacked by a disease or if it is weakened in some way, it is our whole self that suffers.

In the same way, if there is no communication, no coming together and sharing, the love between two people becomes weaker and weaker.

Perhaps you agree with what we have been saying but are still wondering: how do we communicate and what do we communicate? Let us try to answer these questions for you.

Let us try to answer these questions for you.

How do we communicate?                 
We communicate by words, this is obvious. The words are the instruments, the tools of communication. If what we say is true, the relationship develops. The talks we have together are the bricks and stones with which we build trust and confidence between ourselves.

We also communicate by gestures or bodily expressions. It can be a smile, a handshake, a look, the tone of the voice, an embrace, etc. All these can tell the other person what is happening inside us if there is joy or sadness, fear or anger, happiness or sorrow in us.

And surprisingly, we can communicate through silence. Two people who know each other very well and who love each other very much can communicate through silence. Because they are close to one another they can “hear” a message even in the silence of the other person. We would call it “the sound of silence” – a silence that is heard by the other because there is love there.

What do we communicate?
Firstly, we communicate the ordinary things of life: the events of the day, what happened to the family and friends, how the children behaved, the visitors who came, the goods brought, etc. But even through these, we can reveal, we can show ourselves.

Have you ever thought that you reveal yourself when you answer the simple question; “What time is it?” The way you answer, sharply or nicely with a smile or with a frown, will say much about the kind of person you are. Do we not say: “For news of the heart, listen to the voice?”

There is one thing to pay attention to in communicating with others and especially with that other who is our companion in marriage. We should communicate what we are and not what we would like the other to think we are. This would be deceiving the other person. It would be a lie. It would be playing games. All kinds of wrong messages are sent and received.

Let us not be afraid to be ourselves with those we love and who love us. If we cannot be ourselves with them, with whom then can we be our true selves?

Something else is worth remembering too; for the one you love, it is not so much what you say that is important, it is a simple fact that you are saying it. Of course, what we tell each other has some importance but it takes on an even greater importance because of the one speaking, the one I love, the one who shares my life, all of my life.

When to communicate?
There are things that can be said at all times, pieces of news or information that can be mentioned at any moment. There are other things more difficult to say and these need a special time.

The husband who tells his wife that she is not a very good cook on the day he knows her to be very tired is not wise in communicating. Likewise, the wife who looks for money to travel when she knows her husband has just lost some money in business is not thinking wisely.

There are right times and there are wrong times to say something. Experience is often the best teacher in this. Things that are difficult to say, because they can surprise or hurt the other person, should be said when that person is able to receive them.

Try to pick out the best and the quietest time to talk over problems together; when the other person has time to listen when he/she is not worried about other things. When he/she is in a good mood.

Problems in marriage because of no communication
We can say that very, very often problems in married life come from poor communication. People have failed to talk things over together and at that moment, problems have started to grow bigger and more serious. Communication is a skill, it needs practice. It needs trying and trying again.

There are also difficulties or obstacles to good communication.  Once communication is lacking in marriage, the marriage begins to collapse.

When there is no communication
- Small difficulties become big problems.
- Silence is understood as hostility.
- There can be no understanding.
- There can be no common action.
- A lot of frustration develops.
- The person feels alone in his/her own world.
- Suspicion and doubt grow in the mind.

When there is good communication
- The barriers or obstacles between two people are broken down.
- The two people can pass from the feeling of being alone to a life of giving and take.
- There is a new feeling of togetherness.
- There come a greater strength and courage.
- The differences are smoothed out easily.
- The need of the two partners are made known and can be answered.
- There is a sense of building something together. 

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