3 Kinds of Communication That Destroy Marriages

Silence communication, negative Communication and Inadequate Communication.

Good communication is a vital ingredient in building a happy and healthy marriage. Without it, unhappiness and conflict in the home will be a common experience.

As someone said, communication is the lifeblood of any marriage. But it must added that such communication has to be positive, constructive and productive.

Truth be told, some communications can drain the life out of any healthy relationship. In this post, we will examine some forms of such communication that are not so healthy to engage in marriage.

If good communication improves the health of marriage, then obviously, bad communication destroys it. Nothing less than wholesome, intentional, positive and productive communication should be promoted within a loving marriage relationship.

All the same, there are spouses who may be inadvertently  involved in improper communications with each other. It is my belief that being aware of these kinds of communication that destroy marriages will help you not to engage in them so that the happiness and health of your marriage will be protected.

To that extent, I present to you 3 kinds of communication that may destroy your marriage, with the hope that you will learn not to engage in them:

  • Silence communication
  • Inadequatee communication
  • Negative communication

Let us now take a closer​ look at each of the stated types of communications:

1. Silence communication

On the surface, it would appear that “silence communication” as being used here is an oxymoron, contradicting in terms. But it is not – especially if you think of it in terms of nonverbal communications.

Silence in itself is not the total absence of communication. But it is a form of communication as well.

Through the use of words, you do communicate in any relationship. But you can sometimes do the same without necessarily using words – by the use of silence. That’s why they say, for instance, that “silence means consent.”

In marriage however, silence may not always mean consent, pleasure or happiness; it can mean discontentment, unhappiness, disapproval, indifference, ignorance, bruised ego, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, displeasure, concealed anger, etc.

But the fact still remains that even when you keep silent, you are still communicating something. The question then will be whether or not your silence is serving the proper purpose.

Sadly, “silence communication” can result in miscommunication and misunderstanding.

3 types of Communication that destroy Marriage

It is true that silence may be desirable at times, especially when you need to douse some apparent tensions. But do not allow prolonged silence communication to fester between you and your spouse, neither should you subject your partner to the so-called “silent treatment.” Such will not augur well for the health of your beautiful marriage.

Whenever you notice unwholesome silence communication in your relationship, be the one to break the ice  (in a positive way). This is because continuous silence communication between you and your spouse will have a negative effect on the health of your marriage. Therefore, use “silence communication” wisely.

2. Inadequate communications

Understand that inadequate communication is poor communication whether in marriage or outside of it. Poor communication will in turn result in poor understanding and ultimately in conflict and misunderstanding. And persistent conflict between you and your spouse is not good for the health of your marriage.

Have you ever felt that your partner is not open to discussing​ all issues with you? Or you know he or she is deliberately withholding vital information from you? If your answer is yes,  then you may be experiencing inadequate communication in your marriage.

It is also inadequate communication if your spouse can use more information than you are willing and open to communicate with him or her. What that means is that you are withholding information from your partner without his or her consent. And that’s not right. If your spouse is the one withholding information from you, it is also not right.

More often than not, inadequate communication can result in serious misunderstanding​ between you both, and consequently to unhealthy conflict that puts the union at risk.

In marriage you should be free to talk about anything and everything with your spouse. Such communication should be proactive, intentional, regular and adequate.

3. Negative communication

Ever heard​ the saying that “if you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing?” That shows that it may be more beneficial sometimes to maintain silence than to say unpalatable things – to your spouse, for example.

Well, while not encouraging silence communication in marriage, it is better to avoid negative communication all together. Negative communications will produce negative effects.

Negative communication such as uncomplimentary remarks about your spouse and unending doses of unconstructive criticisms will not improve the good-health of your marriage. Your spouse may feel disrespected or unvalued if your communication always come across to them as negative. On the other hand, you will come across as caring, loving, friendly and considerate if your communications are always positive.

If you communicate negatively with your spouse long enough, he or she will begin to resent you, leading to emotional disconnection between you both. There is no future for any marriage where the partners do not share a strong intimate emotional bonding.

We will then conclude that silence communication is not good. Inadequate communication is not good enough. And negative communication is not good at all.

Your marriage will be negatively affected if you engage in any of the above communications long enough. Therefore, it is better to avoid these kinds of communication that destroy marriages.

What other kinds of communications do you think can destroy a marriage?


©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

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Towards A Better Marriage: Your Spouse Is Not The Problem. 

Marriage is a beautiful thing. But that doesn’t stop problems from cropping up in it here and there. If you are already in a committed marriage relationship, it is a mistake on your part if you see your spouse as the problem when those challenges arise.
The problem in marriage

With this post, I am beginning a new series on marriage simply christened Towards A Better Marriage. As the title suggests, the purpose of the series will be to share some of my thoughts towards achieving a better – stronger, healthier and happier – marriage relationship with your spouse.

If that’s what you desire, let me invite you to go through the entire series with me because it promises to be a rewarding journey for us all. Here is the first menu on offer:

Your Spouse Is Not The Problem

Just like every married couple might have come to realise, I am sure you already know that marriage is not a bed full of roses only. It is full of plenty challenges as well. Isn’t that pretty obvious?

More often than not, it is how you handle these challenges that will go to a large extent to determine the success and happiness or otherwise of your marital experience. The common saying that as you make your bed, so you will lie on it holds true in marriage relationships too.

Except you are married to the devil personified, I am free to say that your spouse is not the problem. So resist the temptation to see him/her as one.

Put in proper perspective, you will realise that the challenges you have in marriage are things or issues, not a person – and definitely not your spouse! For instance, the problem could be the manner your spouse is handling an issue at hand, or it may also be the manner you are reacting to it. Either way, you must perceive that the problem is not a person.

A vital key to amicably resolving the challenges is to learn to focus on tackling the issue at hand rather than putting the blame on a person – your partner. You may have been hurt by what your spouse said or did at some point, but the problem is still not your spouse.

“I love you but I hate how you treat me sometimes,” a thoughtful wife once said to her husband. You’ve got the point? Identify what the issue is and deal with it.

A problem is a problem and your spouse is your spouse. Please don’t mistake one for another.

Here is a relevant story that comes to mind at this point.

Husband and wife are not enemies.

A newly wedded couple who began to face some marital challenges went to see an experienced marriage counsellor for possible solutions. After they had vented before the counsellor, he pulled out two paper cards from his wooden drawer and gave one each to the couple to fill in the blanks that followed the simple question: What do you think is the problem in your marriage?

The counsellor then retrieved the two cards and found the boldly written responses from the waiting couple:

Wife: My husband is the problem in our marriage.

Husband: My wife is the problem in our marriage.

Much to the surprise of the pensive couple, the counsellor began to smile as he read out the respective answers. He seemed very familiar with these kinds of self-protecting responses; that was not the first time he had counselled spouses who blamed each other for their marital woes.

“First and foremost,” said the counsellor in a calm but firm voice, “both of you missed the key part of the question which said, ‘what’ and not ‘who’ you thought the problem in your marriage is. From our discussions so far, I can surmise that the answer to the question is not a person, as two of you stated. Should I now take it that you both failed the question?”

“But I can explain what I meant by saying that ….” said the wife, attempting a frantic effort to expatiate on her previous answer. The husband too felt right for blaming the wife. This charged up the counselling room a little more.

The couple blamed each other for their marital challenges. None of them was willing to accept the blame either. Thankfully in the course of the session, the counsellor was able to douse the ensuing tension and also drilled down to the problematic issues in the couple’s lives.

In the end, the counsellor went further to harp on the need for the spouses not to see each other as the problem in their marriage. Rather, they should perceive each other as partners in progress, standing in unity and on the same front to tackle whatever issues that may challenge them in their union.

Here is my conclusion as well: Next time you have any marital issue, be sure to remind yourself that your spouse is not the problem. Identify what the issue is and focus on tackling it. That way you will achieve a healthier method of resolution than blaming your spouse.

Please share what you think in the comment session.

Photo credits: tolovehonorandvacuum.com

 

Still ahead: Towards A Better Marriage: 6 simple reasons you shouldn’t blame your spouse.

 

© Copyright 2016-Victor Uyanwanne

How You can Know God At The Friendship Level

Rick Warren's 3 levels of knowing God

There are two kinds of people on Earth: Those who believe that God exists and those who don’t. Amongst those that believe God exists, whether they do know God to the extent of having or contemplating a friendship relationship with Him is a different thing altogether.

Over the past few months that I started this blog, I have had myself writing some articles specifically addressed to atheists – those who say there is no God. The latest of such articles being 16 Sobering Things Every Atheist Should Know.

In this post, I will be talking to those who already believe God exists. But I must add that it is not enough to believe that God exists without knowing Him personally.

Apart from believing that God exists, there is the need for you (and of course everyone else) to get to truly know God and know Him at a deeper level. That is why, as Christians we invite people to know God by calling them into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, His Son.

Without a personal faith in the finished work of Christ, no one can know God at a friendship level. You shouldn’t miss that point.

Distinguished and best-selling Author, Rick Warren, in one of his devotional articles, stated that there are three levels of knowing God: recognition, acquaintance, and friendship.

As the title of this post suggests, our focus here is mainly on knowing God at the level of friendship. But allow me to put in a word or two about the named three levels as I understood them:

  1. Recognition level

At this level, you know that “God is there,” but you don’t know Him personally. In other words, you know that God exists but you have not yet entered into a personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, through whom only one can get to know the true God.

  1. Acquaintance level

You are at this level if you know God just a little, but that’s all. Even though you may have come to know God through acknowledging Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you are yet to develop that relationship into a deeper level of robust friendship.

  1. Friendship level

At this level, you have come to know God very well. You are not perfect, but you now know God as your Father.

You have established a healthy relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus Christ and you are staying committed to that relationship and you know it. You see God as your friend and you relate with Him as such; you talk to each other.

We can be friends of God

Knowing God at a deeper level

God wants you to know Him and know Him very well. In Christ, He has offered you an eternal friendship relationship. This friendship will flourish to the extent you are willing to investing your time into it through regular fellowship with Him.

To know God at a deeper level, you have to know Him at the friendship level. And this level is not exclusive to some people. We are all called to seek a deeper level of relationship with God.

In James 4:8a, we read the words, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…” You see, you are the one that should intentionally draw near to God in order to know Him deeper – at the friendship level.

In Christ Jesus, God is already fully drawn to you. I may as well say this: You are as close to God as you want to be!

Once you have established a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ, it means you have entered into the most valuable relationship of your life. But like all good relationships, it has to be consciously cultivated and nurtured for it to develop into a deeper level of friendship.

To know someone deeply, you have to regularly talk to, or spend time with, him or her. Knowing God deeply is not different from that. Except you are willing to regularly fellowship with God, talk to Him as a friend and let Him talk to you too, you may never get to know Him at the deepest level possible.

 

Do you desire to know God at the friendship relationship level? Feel free to leave a comment.

 

©2016 CopyRight | Victor Uyanwanne

THINK MORE ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE THAN YOU THINK ABOUT YOURSELF

THINK MORE ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE THAN YOU THINK ABOUT YOURSELF
By Victor Uyanwanne
31/03/2015

On my fourth wedding anniversary recently, while doing an online search on WordPress, I was fortunate to stumble on a Seth Adam Smith’s article, “Marriage Isn’t For You.”

On the surface, the title of the article appeared to me to be somewhat discouraging marriage. And to be honest, at first I found that very unacceptable because I have always looked forward to being married; I got married and established my belief that marriage is for me. So you can imagine how infuriated I felt when I first saw the audacious title, “Marriage Isn’t For You.”

“How could he say that?” I queried into an empty air. Anyway, out of sheer curiosity, I proceeded to read the article. To my pleasant surprise, I discovered that there was more to the article than its title seemed to portray. I came to realise that the article didn’t say one should not get married, neither did it say that one made a mistake by getting married. But it succinctly embodied the principle, amongst others, that married people should think of their spouses and their needs more than they think of themselves.

Furthermore, I came to realise that I totally agree with Seth on the ideas he pushed forward in the article. “You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy…,” he opined. Even though he credited his father with it, the wisdom he expressed in the statement appeared simple in nature, yet very profound: “… Love and marriage isn’t for you. It’s for others.”

I believe the assertion is in line with what Apostle Paul told the Philippians several centuries ago: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (Phil. 2:3, NIV). For our purpose here, we can paraphrase this to say, “Spouse, don’t be selfish towards your partner. Be humble; ascribe more value to your spouse than you ascribe to yourself”.

Therefore, in saying “marriage isn’t for you”, I came to the understanding that Seth meant that “Marriage is about the person you married,” not necessarily about you.

SETH & WIFE
SETH & WIFE/www.dailymail.co.uk634 × 353

In Seth’s own words:

.… A true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?”, while Love asks, “What can I give?””
“And, paradoxically, the more you truly love that person, the more love you receive. And not just from your significant other, but from their friends and their family and thousands of others you never would have met had your love remained self-centered”  (Emphasis mine).

In the final analysis, it became more obvious that in marriage relationships:

• We should think more about our spouses than we expect them to think about us.
• We should give to our spouses more than we expect them to give us.
• We should love our spouses more than we expect them to love us.
• We should give more honour to our spouses than we expect them to give to us.
• We should forgive and tolerate the bahaviour of our spouses more than we expect them to do for us;
• If we don’t like it when our spouses annoy us, why do we not care a hoot when we annoy them?

I am convinced that if we sow happiness in our spouses, the fruit will show up in our own lives.

References:
http://sethadamsmith.com/literal-odyssey/marriage-isnt-for-you/ accessed on 26/03/2015

http://sethadamsmith.com/2013/11/02/marriage-isnt-for-you/ accessed on 26/03/2015

 

WHAT TOLERANCE REALLY MEANS

WHAT TOLERANCE REALLY MEANS
By Victor Uyanwanne
13/03/2015

I have always been interested in learning new words and I have usually made conscious effort towards achieving that aim. I remember way back in school when we were much younger when we used to keep “New Words and Meaning” notebooks as a deliberate strategy to enhance our knowledge of English words. Those notebooks were really helpful then in building our capacity to understanding English as a second language.

Somehow, I have carried the habit of learning new words into my adult life, but with a different strategy. Thanks to the revolution in ICT! For instance, I subscribed to an offer by my telecom service provider to send me one new English word and its meaning, every day. I have been enjoying this service for years now without fail. This service has afforded me a convenient medium of learning the meaning of many new words and also refreshing my memory with the ones I already knew their meanings.

Along this line recently, while at work, the text message alert on my phone beeped as usual. When I checked the new word that was ‘delivered’ to me, the meaning I saw totally opened a new perspective to me on what I thought I already knew about that word. That was when it hit me to write this piece. Please read on.

What is the word we are talking about here? “Tolerance”! That’s it. I know the word is not new to you as people frequently use it; what I don’t know is how much of its real meaning you really have understood and applied in your own sphere of influence.

You may probably have been tempted to think that tolerance strictly means to put up with something or someone with very nasty, horrible, terrible or poignant attributes. smiles! But look at this definition below and compare it with what you already know about the meaning of the word:

“Tolerance: Willingness to accept behaviour and beliefs which are different from your own.”

I don’t know about you, but the definition above opened up an entirely new vista to me, of which I am glad. It shows for instance that tolerance didn’t say we should put up with evil or bad things or bad people, as some people may think. But it clearly portrays “willingness to accept behaviour and beliefs which are different from [our] own.”

Now let’s take a closer look at the key aspects of the said definition:

• Willingness to accept
• Behaviour and beliefs
• Different from your own

To be honest, tolerance should be required wherever there are inter human relationships because you will always meet people whose behaviour and beliefs are different from yours.

Due to a number of varied factors such as genetic make-up, family background, religion, education, geography, exposure, life experiences etc, all of us believe different things and behave differently from one another. That means that at any point in time in your chequered life, you will always see people who behave or believe differently from you. In order to coexist harmoniously with such people, you should be willing to accept such different behaviour or beliefs, if they cannot be changed.

Talking about changing people’s behaviour and beliefs, experience has shown that many people are aware that some other people do not share their behaviour or beliefs. But sometimes they are unwilling to accept such other people who do not share their outlook. This is often the beginning of unnecessary conflicts.

However, you may only try to effect some changes on peoples’ bahaviour or beliefs if possible to suite yours; but you shouldn’t try to use force. You can’t change anyone who doesn’t really want to be changed. You can only influence such persons.

When it comes to changing someone’s behaviour or beliefs, influence should be the operating word, not force. Otherwise, you must bring to bare the willingness to accept their behaviour and beliefs which you perceive to be different from your own and which you cannot change. That, my friend, is the real meaning of tolerance.

Bear in mind that tolerance is a seed; as you sow it, you will reap the sweet harvest. Besides don’t you realize that others would have to tolerate you too? I believe you know that not all your behaviour and beliefs are acceptable to everyone you come in contact with! Although, I cannot guarantee it, they too ought to be willing to accept your behaviour and beliefs which are different from their own. There is no worthwhile relationship that doesn’t require tolerance in between.

Like all good habits, tolerance doesn’t just happen to us; it has to be cultivated deliberately and ‘open-heartedly’. It is very important to cultivate it because you will need it if you desire to build a meaningful, harmonious and long-lasting relationship of any kind with people.

Here are a few areas where we can apply the principle of tolerance:
• At home, between spouses , amongst siblings or other family members;
• At work , between you and your boss, colleagues or direct reports;
• In your neighourhoods, amongst cotenants, etc
• Amongst your friends, classmates in schools etc
• In churches, with members and leaders alike;
• In other organisations /relationships, etc
• In fact, anywhere you come in contact with humans.

People are different. You are not everyone and everyone is not you. Therefore, there will always be differences in behaviour and beliefs between you and others. There would be conflicts all the time in all kinds of human relationships if the principle of tolerance is not imbibed. The extent to which you realise this differences and how well you are willing to accept and manage them depict your level of tolerance at any given period of time.