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Effective Communication between couples

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by Grihani, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. Grihani

    Grihani Gold IL'ite

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    As a continuation of Building Positivity in Married life Forum, let us talk about the importance of communication between couples in a marriage.

    If there is one thing that is most important in building or sustaining any relationship it is proper communication. In a marriage, it becomes even more important to build a strong foundation.

    Looking at your own marriage, do you feel that there is effective communication, have you and your spouse been able to talk freely, openly, effectively about the things bothering you?
    Have you conveyed your displeasure tactfully staying away from attacking, hurtful comments?
    Do you listen attentively, try to understand what partner says even if it is not something that you would like to hear?

    After an argument/ discussion do you walk away without any negative feelings? Do you feel good about having conveyed what you have to?

    Most of us bring emotion into picture, it becomes difficult to convey clearly what is in our minds, we tend to bring all unrelated topics, other people, and old problems into the present conversation, at the end of it the content is lost, only the tone heard.

    Are you facing difficulties communicating your feelings and thoughts? Do you feel misunderstood? Have you done anything to overcome or improve the way you talk to your partner?

    Please share with us your concerns, thoughts and solutions regarding effective communication with your partner.

    Great communication in marriage is a skill that we can learn. It takes practice. And it takes one of us to show the other in a relationship how to communicate effectively.

    Looking forward to your interactions on this topic.
     
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  2. guesshoo

    guesshoo IL Hall of Fame

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    Communication skills are of paramount importance in a marriage, IMO. It involves restraint, tact, being dignified, ability to understand another person's view, even if you don't necessarily agree with it.

    In Indian marriages, there is a lot more involvement of the extended family that one might like. There is still a deep rooted sense of chauvinism. And scratch most families a little on the surface, you can see them steeped in patriarchy. Despite knowing all this, I hear people putting their foots in their respective mouths and stating platitudes like, "I am direct." / "I can't control my temper" / "I don't sugar coat stuff" in defence after the damage is done. I find it ridiculous. And stupid.

    IMO from dealings in hi-fi corporate jobs to dealings with my preschooler communication is key. More so with the spouse.

    Use body language, facial expressions and intonations in your voice to your advantage - these are more in your control than your spouse. Have girlfriends to vent and strategise when you are in a strop. Just don't go barging in on your spouse accusing him or his folks when you are pissed off. Figure out what the problem is and how it can be tackled efficiently.

    You don't have to give in; you just have to accede that both of you have differing view points - "we'll just have to agree to disagree on that"; back off when things start getting hot - "Let's cool down and discuss this"; firmly but politely state, "There is no need to be rude/ personal"; assert your individuality - "I feel more comfortable doing it my way"

    It is equally important to cultivate the habit of letting things go once you have stated your point. Argument on hold? Move on to discussing something light-hearted before you resume so that ego doesn't come in the way - Have a cup of tea together/ talk about your holiday/ view holiday photos/ read aloud or watch a funny news clip. It might be the last thing you want to do but show some affection whilst acknowledging the differences.

    When I was trying to turn my marriage around, we were having an argument. I knew we were getting cross and so, I declared we put a pin on the problem; discuss it again when we were calmer. (I think it was one of the first times I actually took charge in a calm manner) Then went on to very, very normally ask, "let's have tea and snacks; shall we? I'll put the kettle on. Can you open that pack of biscuits?" You could have knocked my husband down with a feather! He was cautious; I was worried he was still going to explode but that cup of tea was very useful for our marriage. Neither of us discussed the problem that had grown so big; instead we just drank tea watching some comedy on TV. The issue didn't seem so big any more. We resolved it rather quickly.

    Also ladies, remember that just as you aren't responsible for your parents' thoughts and actions, your husband isn't responsible for his parents' thoughts and actions. In fact, it is most likely that their parents have been lovely up until the time you came into the picture! The husbands have no idea how to deal with their nonsense either. Hence, again, communication is key. Taking it out on the husband or holding it as a grudge against them is pointless. You have to learn to communicate effectively and draw a strict line yourself with the offending adults.
     
  3. viki123

    viki123 Silver IL'ite

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    Effective communication is very important in marriage. I had some issues regarding communication with my DH in initial days. In 8 years of our relationship (including dating time) we have built a good communication relation, at this point I can discuss any with my DH without any issues. Here are some simple things that I have implemented in our relation
    1. Never ever involve a 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] person for any issues. I had to wait for 4 years to get married due to his elder sister that was most stress full time for both of us. I never involved 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] person, our conversations were directly with our parents.
    2. We never had heated arguments in these 8 years, if I sense arguments is going out of control I just walk out to other room and we discuss that later when we cool down.
    3. If I get emotional or I am hurt, I got a room cry out my heart content or read a book to deviate myself. Later discuss it when I am cool and composed so that I can communicate effectively.
    4. I generally carry negative feeling for few days, for my DH is no more than 1 day. It always he who makes up, even if it’s my mistake.
    5. If something that I cannot control (like trips with friends, India visit, helping me in house work etc). These things happened during my pregnancy and after delivery. I just stay quiet, as any amount of requesting, crying etc goes to deaf year. But I make sure to discuss that with him later as how I felt because of his behavior etc.
    6. We never discuss or show our personal differences with family members, common friends or public places.
     
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  4. Vennella

    Vennella Gold IL'ite

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    @guesshoo

    In Indian marriages, there is a lot more involvement of the extended family that one might like. There is still a deep rooted sense of chauvinism. And scratch most families a little on the surface, you can see them steeped in patriarchy. Despite knowing all this, I hear people putting their foots in their respective mouths and stating platitudes like, "I am direct." / "I can't control my temper" / "I don't sugar coat stuff" in defence after the damage is done. I find it ridiculous. And stupid.

    These are really true words that speak to me directly. I am one of those people who think "i am direct, i cannot act"! Also my dh is my best friend and i have no fliter when i speak to him and i thought if i had any concerns about in laws behavior towards me, i can speak to him directly. Big mistake! Especially since all he hears from ILs about me is nothing but good. They can act in front of their son very well, unlike me.

    i need to develop better communication skills
     
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  5. GPriya

    GPriya Bronze IL'ite

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    Looking at your own marriage, do you feel that there is effective communication, have you and your spouse been able to talk freely, openly, effectively about the things bothering you?
    Effective communication doesn't get thro' nut heads because that's how most of the time husbands are when they are set on their ways!!!!

    Have you conveyed your displeasure tactfully staying away from attacking, hurtful comments?

    Whenever I conveyed my displeasure about anything, the only answer I get my DH is "SO BE IT"!!!! No amount of tact helps.

    Do you listen attentively, try to understand what partner says even if it is not something that you would like to hear?

    Oh I always listen and very patient while listening without interrupting until he completes his absurd ideas, with NO reaction whatsoever at the end. But my face shows how stupid his idea is..so never have to explicitly describe and argue about it!!!.

    After an argument/ discussion do you walk away without any negative feelings? Do you feel good about having conveyed what you have to?

    I am not a SAINT not to have negative feelings even when I feel strongly that he is wrong. But yes..i do walk away because I know, DH wouldn't get it..so whats the point?? wasting time and energy? But I do express when I feel he is wrong irrespective of whether he likes it or not. But when he starts regretting his own decision, sometimes, the higest compliment I recd from him is that I am a visionary (because I did indicate its not a great idea from the beginning). But sometimes when things don't work out the way he wanted, then I get blamed because I objected to it from the beginning and so it backfired!!!!

    Most of us bring emotion into picture, it becomes difficult to convey clearly what is in our minds, we tend to bring all unrelated topics, other people, and old problems into the present conversation, at the end of it the content is lost, only the tone heard.

    The above scenario happens when one keeps stuffing all the events/hurt without having an opportunity to get it out of the chest as and when she gets hurt or snubbed by other people. But when you confront all the things one fine day, you will get emotional without any doubt unless, you are a hypocrite to have lot of ill feeling inside, but a smiling face outside..That is something many women are not good at.. When women explode, they do full justice..no question about it and men deserve it if they don't deal with issues instantaneously.

    Are you facing difficulties communicating your feelings and thoughts? Do you feel misunderstood? Have you done anything to overcome or improve the way you talk to your partner?

    I do feel sometimes its difficult to convince your partner no matter how good, loving, sensible and how right you are. Life is full of learning and everyone has to learn from their mistakes. There are no hard and fast rules to effectively communicate with your spouse, it depends on how your spouse treats you and how temperamental or egoistic your spouse is. Married life is tough unless you have a lot of GOOD KARMA. You need to learn to ignore lot of idiosyncrasies of the people you are living with and carry on life peacefully without much of commotion. Only age and matured behavior would help and also this cannot happen when u r a new bride. Every one has expectation and there is nothing wrong to expect certain amount of love, support and understanding from your spouse atleast in the initial stages of married life until you perfectly understands him to realize whether he would or wouldn't care for your feelings. Some may change later, some may not,, if there are other qualities you recognize in your partner that you like/live with, then just ignore deficiencies and carry on life like a KARMA YOGI!!!!

    Please share with us your concerns, thoughts and solutions regarding effective communication with your partner.

    Great communication in marriage is a skill that we can learn. It takes practice. And it takes one of us to show the other in a relationship how to communicate effectively.

    One great piece of advice, Never insist on your views when the other person is not in a mood to hear/listen. Fights, arguments, ego etc., are all the factors that cause more peacelessness in life. You need a bot if spirituality to be more patient and say Krishnarpanam for the unjust behavior of the people around.

    Looking forward to your interactions on this topic.[/QUOTE]
     
  6. janetbuys

    janetbuys New IL'ite

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    I believe that communication has only taken place when one spouse has managed to really get the message across to the other. Outside of that we are merely talking and not communicating. There are three sides to communication

    What we say only constitutes 7%
    Our tone of voice constitutes 38%
    Our body language constitutes 55%

    So it's not what we say but how we say it and portray ourselves when we speak. So we see here that words are merely words until we get some emotion into them. only then can we show someone that we really love them, or that we are hurting because of something they have done or that we are feeling angry or feeling tired.

    The best way to communicate especially areas of conflict is never to use the word "you" e.g. You always do that! OR You never take me out! OR You never defend me! Always start with the word "Ï" and express how you feel about a particular thing. e.g. I need to let you know how I feel. I feel insecure when you make fun of me in front of your friends/family. I feel frustrated after such a hard day at work. I feel rejected when you compare my cooking..... In this manner you are expressing how you feel about a particular situation without passing judgement or condemnation on your spouse. This needs to be done in a respectful way and timing is of the utmost importance. Never try and discuss an issue when your husband is just about to fall asleep, or when he is watching his favorite sport. When you find an opportunity use the words" Can we talk". This is a statement that tells him that you need his attention. Proceed to tell him how you feel. Then (very important)...ask him "how do you feel about what I just said" It is important that he be able to repeat back to you in his own words what you have said. Then acknowledge or clarify further in need. Proceed to let him know what you need or want e.g. I need you to play with the kids while I prepare the meal. I want us to spend more time together. ALWAYS have a possible solution to the problem.

    Cultures differ but this has worked very well in my marriage.
     
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  7. SGBV

    SGBV IL Hall of Fame

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    Effective communication is very important key for the success of every marriage life. It is not necessarily the language, but the attitude that makes the connection.

    Partners should place love, respect and trust at the first place while communicating anything under the sky. The tone of friendship and understanding make the disturbed partner to communicate easily.
    Any information should be shared within the spouses at first before they decide on the amount of info shared with the extended families.

    There is no strict rule that you must agree to whatever your partner says. You can always agree to disagree in an dignified manner. But it is important that you know everything about him though there could be so much differences.

    Communication skills are something that we inherit from our genes, and polish with the upbringing. You can't expect any improvement from a partner who lacks communication skills just like that.
     
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  8. KashmirFlower

    KashmirFlower IL Hall of Fame

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    I write emails to my spouse, if I find that I can't communicate my point without being emotional or if things are interrelated and without explaining one things I can't talk other thing. I email, as H is dominating in his words, even he has no point/it is his fault he talks dominating and just wants to win an argument. He reads and keeps quite most of the times.


    good advice when u can't do anything to change situations,( but from your side implement what you want to do as a Karma Yogi again with out troubling yourself much )

    If both parties don't bring a 3rd party, ego, into communication but both want to discuss and solve the problem, or listen what other feels, it is very easy.

    But if one is stubborn or egoistic or highly selfish and not ready to listen at all , communication can't happen. one party would be left out with frustration.
     
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  9. Grihani

    Grihani Gold IL'ite

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    Thanks everyone for your participation and wonderful inputs :)
     
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  10. IL_Admin

    IL_Admin Administrator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    @periamma, @jayasala42, @satchitananda, @srama - we saw your valuable thoughts shared in last month's positivity thread. Would appreciate if you all could share your suggestions and opinions on this month's topic too :)
     

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