Effective communication requires great effort as well as a lot of practice. When communication lacks especially in marriage, it becomes very hard to resolve conflicts or to grow the partnership. For those who are in troubled marriages they can seek help on how to do proper communication in order to bring back peace in the family.
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Communication issues in a marriage result when the two parties do not agree on a solution to a certain problem. Any kind of discussion that addresses a certain problem should result to a solution rather than endless arguments that lead to both parties becoming unsuccessful. To solve problems through communication, there has to be a very important tool known as compromise, which should be considered before bringing up a certain problem (Carsenten et al, 1995).
Marital problems are very sensitive; therefore they require a positive attitude before going direct to the discussion. Before the discussion, the couple can talk of the things that are making the relationship survive as well as those areas that may require improvement. Communication becomes very effective when the positives things are talked about first then the problems later.
Communication becomes very hard when one individual in a couple is depressed because he or she may exaggerate anything negative. Any person who wants to control his or her partner must emphasize on the behaviors intended to be curbed (Byrne &Carr, 2000).
Communicative acts of depressed people cause sympathetic reactions and assistance but finally leads to aversive conditions that leads to anxiety and depression. Individuals who are depressed do not engage themselves in communication since they are more negative and experience rejection. Conflicts as well as communication control methods seem to change the physiological functioning in a couple. Lots of disagreements between couples are associated with high blood pressure and heart rates.
When one of the individuals in a couple is depressed, there is lack of effective communication, more conflicts and hostility. Similarly, depressed people show malformed patterns of receptiveness in interactions with their partners such that harmony lacks between the couple, and depressed spouses become very expressive especially when they are discussing the negative issues. Depression has a very negative impact in marriages since it is one of the causes for divorce (Byrne et al, 2004).
Many divorces have been reported due to one of the spouses being depressed. Apart from marriages, many relationships have also been broken including the deep and meaningful ones. This is because; it becomes very hard to communicate effectively with a depressed person.
Depression is a disease that cannot be seen physically thus becoming more complicated and misunderstood. It is mainly caused by drug abuse, lots of conflicts, death, illness and stress. The main symptoms of depression include sadness, negative feelings, lack of sleep, and loss of interest as well as death desires. All these problems make it very hard to communicate effectively thus resulting to very many communication issues.
Besides, it becomes very difficult to establish a healthy channel of communication between oneself and a depressed individual especially a spouse. According to Alton Barbour (2003), “….sometimes one of the worst things you can do for someone with depression is to help them”. He also talks of “interpersonal difficulties” like lack of intimate friends which leads to depression. “After all if one is lacking in social skills, one can expect to be without friends or an intimate”. (Barbour 2003)
The couple should always be keen to note when an argument becomes irrational so that they are able to postpone it until a time when effective communication will occur. This is because a heated argument may result to fights and even more conflicts between the couple.
Listening to the other partner becomes more essential so as one can understand and reflect on what has been said. Honesty becomes a necessity when communicating as well as focusing on the real issue since it becomes very hard to make a point when one feels insecure about making it. Communication issues occur mainly when one partner is rude to the other.
This shows lack of respect because in a couple, there has to be courtesy and respect of each one’s ideas. Issues heighten when a spouse dismisses ideas and thoughts in a rude way instead of listening and reacting with reasons or disagreeing in a respectful way. The couple should also be in a position to know when an outside help is required. This is necessary so that effective communication can take place, and it is usually done through a counselor or marriage retreat who aid in solving communication problems.
Moreover, communication between couples from the ego level instead of higher self brings about communication issues. Basically ego-based communication is associated with fear as well as separation while higher- self communication is associated with oneness and love. Many communication problems between couples occur when the interaction is based only on one partner’s point of view.
Disagreements must be there in any marriage and people should understand that the best couple is not the one that does not disagree. Infact the best couple is the one that is able to express and respect the differences that exist between them. This is because conflicts make marriage very interesting as long as they are tolerable.
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Handling of conflicts determines how the couple will stay together. Ignoring a problem or punishing a spouse in silent is never a solution. Rather there has to be understanding and proper communication between the couple so that each person comprehends the other person’s point of view.
Importantly, logic can never win any kind of argument between couples who are twisted emotionally. Rather, logic wins arguments whereby emotions do not exist. “The more we can put ourselves in our partner’s shoes and perceive how they understand the world, the better we will be able to communicate with them.
With openness to their point of view we will have a better chance of resolving the issue. It will also make it easier for us to put across our point of view in such a way that they are most likely to understand it” (Benazone &Coyne, 2000)
Negotiations are forms of communications that aid in obtaining a joint decision; that can be agreed on by both parties. It is very essential especially when solving marriage conflicts since it helps one to get what he or she wants and at the same time one is able to give others what they deserve in form of communicating. Additionally, negotiations balance the integrity, values as well as outcomes between the spouses by allowing everything that is done. “Good negotiators also explicitly signal their questions.
They will say something like, ‘May I ask you a question about that?’ By doing so they focus the attention of the meeting on the answer and make it difficult for the person questioned to evade the point if he has agreed to answer the question” (Blehar &Oren, 1997)
Nowadays, many divorces are caused due to lack effective communication. Many couples do not talk or even discuss family issues thus creating bigger problems. To improve any marriage, the couple should make an effort to restore communication problems. In spite of the devotion that exists between any marriages, communication problems will still occur. Gender differences are usually the main causes of communication issues in marriages, which later lead to misunderstanding of the other partner’s opinions.
Barbour A.(2003) “Social support and depression”. Depression guide. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/causes-depression#1.
Benazon, N. & Coyne, J. (2000). “Living with a depressed spouse”. Journal of Family Psychology, 14, 71–79.
Byrne, M., & Carr, A. (2000). “Depression and power in marriage”. Journal of Family Therapy, 22, 408–427.
Byrne, M., Carr, A., & Clark, M. (2004). Power in relationships of women with depression. Journal of Family Therapy, 26, 407–429.
Blehar, M. D. & Oren, D. A. (1997). “Gender differences in depression”. Medscape Women’s Health, 2, 3.
Carstensen, L., Gottman, J. & Levenson, R. (1995). “Emotional behavior in long-term Marriages”. Psychology and Aging, 10(1), 140–149.