Almost every source out there on relationships swear communication is the key to a successful marriage, but they never talk about how hard communication is, infact it is very unlikely for someone to communicate their feelings without the other person feeling attacked, before you know it, a simple question like, “why didn’t you put a bottle of mayonnaise back into the cupboard after using it”, has blown into a storm of an argument…and you sigh to yourself but, “I just communicated my feelings”. The truth is as human beings the only reason we are ahead of many species and find ourselves at the centre of civilisation is because of the ability to communicate with one another…but somehow we still end up with racism and wars in the world, the point I am trying to illustrate here is that as human beings we are raised with different paradigms that I constructed by our backgrounds and history (The word of God says out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks), and our issues could be lost in translation while we try to communicate with one another, and we have to learn along the way the right angles we have to use that other people understand. I have seen couples that fight all the time separate after 5 of year’s anniversary and I have seen people that never fight go their separate ways after 10 years of marriage. All because of bad communication methods. So if you are reading this and communication is an issue in your marriage trust me you are not alone, there is a lot of us but there is definitely hope.

Gender differences are mostly the cause of conflicts; we are wired differently as much as we are both created in the uniqueness of Gods image. Men are goal oriented communicators hence their inability to open up and communicate their feelings , whereas with women it is about getting heard and expressing ourselves, most times we never really hear each other out. I have seen consequences of bad communication in a lot of marriages, husbands that don’t know how to communicate their feelings and resort to affairs or hanging out with their friends drinking because they would rather not go home, or women that feel like they are nagging all the time they communicate because their husband refuses to hear their cry. I have also heard of people that lose hope because they have been communicating the same thing to their partners over the years but nothing changes, so it eventually dawned on me that communication is not as easy as it is portrayed to be, the tone, choice of words play a huge role in how you want the other person to receive the message in case you don’t end up triggering them, which probably could lead to a defence and all your efforts go to waste, the problem ends up not resolved anyway. I use the word trigger because I mentioned that we all have different paradigms that were built by our backgrounds and traumas, for example Beast has a very deep bass voice, every time we would have a serious argument he would use a stern tone and it would feel like he is shouting at me, then it would reel out of me ugly emotions and the next thing you know I feel I have to defend myself and as the saying goes, things would go pear shaped. Actually this scenario is all too clear and familiar, Beast and I will have a conversation or a confrontation that leads to an argument, we get angry at each other, there is tension, and he makes a joke. I laugh. We end up happy again but the PROBLEM has not miraculously disappeared, and the cycle goes on and on ,next thing you know 5 years later he still doesn’t wash the dishes as often as I would like him to or I still struggle to go on top as often as he would like me to, LOL.

So a little background on Beast and I, I will start with myself, for the longest time I avoided confrontations, I had a belief that confrontations lead to conflicts and tension, so I would rather pretend something is not happening in my friendships or relationships but before I know it resentment has built up, I have built a wall and a little incident happens that will break the camel’s back, then I would pack up and throw the relationship or friendship away. I definetly had to learn the hard way when I got married…well I couldn’t really throw my whole marriage away this time around hahaha, so I had to learn how to communicate and man oh man, I struggled…I would end up communicating my feelings too late with built up resentment in my heart and end up saying things I regret, I would always end up looking like the bad person. On the other hand with Beast, like I said on previous posts he looked forward to being a father and a husband, God bless his soul, he really is intentionally working towards having an amazing family but any criticism or feelings I would confront him would always end up in him being defensive and receive it as me saying he is not a good husband, before we know it whatever we are trying to communicate is lost in emotions and we are both misunderstood.

For some marriages it’s a different scenario, the wife always feels like she needs to shout to be heard because the husband doesn’t really communicate their feelings, so during a confrontation he storms out of the house, and later gives a blanket apology for hurting the wife and life goes back to normal without the issue being solved, another scenario on top of my head is a couple that “silent treatment” each other all the time they feel hurt and they become moody for weeks, next thing you know one silent treatment turns into weeks then months, they make up eventually and are happy again but the problem or issue is still there. You are probably wondering how Tiffy knows all these things, I have counselled/listened to so many marriage problems before I could walk down the aisle myself, so trust me when I say I have almost seen it all.

The real truth of the matter is we all want to be loved, and reaffirmed almost all the time because we are insecure beings. Even the most dangerous gangster out there that you can think of wants to be loved and “babied”, that is why the only way to penetrate their heart is through love,John 3:16 has uprooted the most coldest hearts because God communicated his love for us through, sacrificing his only begotten son Jesus….what a gesture!!It definitely goes straight to the heart.

Joyce Meyer once said marriage is serving one another, and serving involves sacrifices and compromises, I think once we learn this principle it is easy to let go of certain arguments, it is easy to communicate our frustrations to our partner without feeling the necessity to defend ourselves all the time, because all you want to do is to learn how to love them and serve them. I always get a question , so Tiffy what if the other party doesn’t understand this principle , do I always have to give and give and they take. Well honestly I don’t know an answer to that but, I believe once you put a good deed in front of you, it is easy for the other person to follow suit, it could take up months or years for the person to learn through you, patience with our partners can only take us somewhere fruitful. Beast used to be the only one that reaches out after an argument, it took me a while to come to the party, but now it is easy for me to cook him his favourite meal after an argument with the hope of lightening the tension, well it’s still a little harder to reach out, I usually go back and forth around the kitchen before I could really take up the courage to walk up to him with a tray of his favourite meal with a smile on my face, it usually works and I am always puzzled at how easy it is.

I think what we really need to learn as couples is that we are not fighting each other but fighting for our marriage to work, I hope that makes sense. When we fight against each other, we look at each other as enemies but when we fight for each other we are intentionally working through our issues by learning what works best with our partners. A tone and body language sets up the atmosphere of every conversation, its either the receiver will reciprocate it as a fight and they will definitely put up a defence wall or they will receive it as my partner has an issue with me , how can I fix it. It is true, never confront your partner while you are angry but address it when you are calm, well I usually forget once we are ok so I have resorted in writing it down as a reminder to address it or I just wing it and confront it while I am still angry and it usually never ends well for us.

My analysis says we all have different paradigms (belief system) and we all are insecure, vulnerable beings that want to be loved. So the only way to resolve issues through communication is learning what works well with our partners that is truly intentionally loving and serving our spouses. I know people that use sex to communicate with their partners, some use gifts and some use tender words that penetrate to their partners hearts, I use a good meal in desperate times LOL. So it boils down again to listen one another, to observe one another so as to use the right communication tools. Before we make a confrontation or communicate a delicate issue to our partners, I am challenging every reader to resort to talking to God first about it the word of God in James says we should ask for wisdom and it shall be given to us, and I promise you that the confrontation will go smoother than we would expect, again we are using faith with efforts. God tends to make things smoother for us if we humble ourselves to him (James 4:6), we really don’t have to work so hard for our marriages, all we need to do is place every issue and burden to him and take up courage to do the work. For marriage to work, we are often forced to have difficult conversations but communication is hard, but once you find your balance and understand your partner then it’s easy for you to know the tone, words that work well with them, but remember to pray to smooth things up and if things don’t fall into place after months or years, find a marriage counsellor, sometimes it takes a professional to dig out traumas we are unaware of and they help us to iron things in a healthy way. Some people resort to maintenance therapy (Going to a therapist twice a year or so) so as to understand where their partners are at emotionally and mentally in order to work towards the prosperity of their marriage, so counselling, listening to our partners, showing our partners how to communicate with us or praying before a confrontation and learning how to intentionally communicate with love, can be the key to our communication woes in our marriages.

Thank you for taking time to read the blog and hope to see you soon, next Wednesday, same place.

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