Communication in Marriage: Speak your Truth without Causing Unnecessary Hurt
If open and honest communication is the secret to happy and fulfilling relationship, why aren’t we all doing it? Well, because it’s really hard!
Communication in marriage can be a double-edged sword. It can improve emotional intimacy in your marriage and bring you closer together, but it can also hurt your spouse deeply and become a threat to your marriage. So, how do you know where the line is?
Be Responsive instead of Reactive
When you speak out of frustration and anger, you’re being reactive rather than responsive. You’re also more likely to say hurtful things because hurtful words come from hurt feelings.
The best way to avoid being reactive in your communication in marriage is to always give yourself a chance to calm down before responding to frustrating situations. This way you can be sure you are speaking your truth and not your fears or hurt feelings.
Be Honest About your Motivation
What is your motivation for being open and honest with your partner? That may sound like a trick question but it is one that you need to know the answer to before you approach your partner.
Many brutally honest people convince themselves that the motivation behind their honesty is to improve their relationships. However, if they were to dig deeper, they might find that their true motivation is to hurt their partner just as much as they have hurt them; improving their relationship is just an added bonus!
It is also important to explain your motivation to your partner before saying anything else. Don’t assume that they know that your intentions are to improve your marriage and not to hurt them.
Keep in mind that getting something off your chest is not necessarily a good intention. It is actually more selfish than anything else because while you might walk away feeling relieved, your partner might walk away feeling hurt and wondering what to do with the information.
Expect Honesty in Return
If the issue you want to talk to your partner is a marriage problem, chances are that you are partly to blame for it, so be ready for honesty in return. For instance, you might find out that the reason your spouse is no longer interested in physical intimacy is because you’ve let yourself go.
This is not meant to scare you or stop you from being open and honest with your spouse. It is just meant to prepare you so that you don’t get defensive and become reactive. The last thing you want is for the conversation to turn into a blame-fest because then all your efforts towards open and honest communication in marriage will go to waste.