Thursday, April 15, 2010

Communication Difficulties

I was listening to the a marriage counselor on the radio this morning. He said "If you don't communicate, you're marriage WILL die, so take time every day to connect with your spouse." I reflected on this for while and decided that it is true. I've seen a lot of marriages go a long time without it, but eventually the marriage will die if it doesn't get meaningful conversation. It's only a matter of time. Of course not every marriage that has died ends in divorce, but the marriage is dead none the same. What gives me hope is seeing marriages that have been in this state for a long time suddenly revived - back from the dead!

A few things that get in the way of communication:

1. resentment/unforgiveness/bitterness
2. anger
3. busyness and impossible schedules
4. poor communication and listening skills
5. forgetting that marriage is a friendship
6. a lack of making communication a priority

Communication is something that is never finished and you never get caught up in. It is like water to a plant - without it, the plant will immediately start to wilt. Whatever gets in the way of your communication, as much as is within your power, you need to deal with it. Yes your spouse has a role in things, but it's too easy to just blame them for a lack of communication in your marriage. You can't control them, you can only control yourself. If you don't know how to help the situation don't give up - get some help. Buy a book, book a vacation, go on retreat, change your schedule, see a counselor - do whatever is necessary. Think of this as a friendly reminder - you're marriage depends on it!

As I posted recently, it's amazing how far away your spouse can feel from you when you aren't communicating. Sometimes one spouse will completely ignore the other's attempt to communicate but usually it becomes something that both spouses are colluding in and enabling. The sooner this distance is addressed, the easier it is. And don't give up after only trying one way to help things. Be patient and keep experimenting with new approaches. Go to others to get encouragement and support. And good luck.

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