OVERCOMING COMMUNICATION BARRIERS
Men and women communicate in very different ways. Until you understand how your spouse is wired and learn to speak a language that is foreign to you, your marriage will be subject to constant misunderstandings. These misunderstandings, when not corrected, can lead to very serious arguments and bitter feelings that are extremely harmful to relationships.
Even if you experienced few problems in communication while you were dating, you will most likely find many barriers in your communication as time goes by. This is a natural result of learning to relate to one another on a deeper level. The deeper level goes beyond the physical and emotional attraction that both men and women experience and delves into the more distinct needs of each Others.
The deeper level of the relationship also means you will both begin to make many new discoveries about each other’s personality, needs, and desires. These discoveries will usually include ways in which your spouse interprets situations, expresses love, and ways in which he or she needs to feel loved.
The only way to cross these barriers is to learn to speak each other’s language. To do this, you must pay close attention to the subtle reactions, moods, gestures, and body language in addition to the words you hear. True communication involves all these elements, and the more foreign the language is, the more attention you need to give to the subtle messages of non-verbal communication.
Communication, however, should be an effort on both sides of the marriage. Don’t expect your spouse to know how to meet your needs if you are not willing to open up and share your intimate thoughts. Realize that you are both very different, and accept responsibility for your part in helping your spouse understand your feelings and your needs in the relationship.
Ask questions, bring up topics for discussion, read books that relate to the needs of men and women, and invest the energy that it takes to get to know your spouse on a deeper, more intimate level.
Guard your trust in the relationship by being careful to keep the secrets that your spouse shares with you. Trust is very difficult to rebuild once it is damaged or destroyed. By opening up and sharing your intimate thoughts with one another, you are taking risks that have the potential to bring greater fulfillment as you grow closer together. These risks, however, can also make both of you more vulnerable to being hurt if one or both of you fail to honor each other’s trust.
No matter what difficulties you may experience in your marriage, determine to keep those very intimate matters between you and your spouse alone.