An honest and frank expression of thoughts and feelings is touchstone of a healthy marriage. Make it a point to always speak your mind with your spouse. Verbalize your anxiety, consternation and desires. In order for what is important to you to also matter to your spouse, your desires need to be put across to him or her. If something concerns you and you keep quiet about it, your spouse will have no way of knowing what inconveniences you or alternatively what pleases you. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with each other builds a bond of familiarity and intimacy, strengthening your relationship. Hinting at the problem without clearly expressing what you feel is a low-gain tactic. Saying outright what you feel and want is any day more practical and honest than playing mind games. Husbands and wives need to talk to each other. It is better to deal with problems early and fairly than to let them pile up until it blows out of proportion. Silence is a sign of weakness, of a lack of confidence and self-esteem. Wishing your spouse could read your mind is a setup for frustration for both of you – as is thinking you can read your spouse’s mind. Don’t play psychic and don’t expect your spouse to be one either! Just because you are in love with each other and have been together a long time does not mean you are both mind readers! Most often it is the women who say: “If he loved me, he’d know what I like.” And this myth is especially prevalent in the area of sexual intimacy. The news may come as a surprise to their spouse. One cannot automatically experience another person’s feelings – say what you mean, mean what you say and don’t expect your spouse to read your mind.
And for the person on the other side of the firing line - Listen. Really hear what the other person is saying. Shweta’s husband Vikram shows his love for her by really listening to what she says. “When I had a problem with the kids or my colleagues, which he could see was troubling me, he would switch off the television and simply tell me: "Tell me about it." It’s like confiding in a close friend who you can really trust with anything – and we would work towards a possible solution – together”. Good communication is the foundation of any well-to-do marriage. Keep this in mind. In fact it is sensible to lay down some ground rules for intercommunication right from day one. For example, resolve never to sleep on an argument. Is it a coincidence that we were given two ears and one mouth? Or does this mean we should listen twice as much as we talk? Ask yourself - are you too eager to have your say and quick to dismiss what your spouse is trying to get across? Every relationship is two-way. Would you go on seeing someone if every time you met, that person talked non stop and appeared completely indifferent in you and your life? Yet that´s how we can treat our spouse sometimes. Try and communicate rationally and be perceptive and understanding regarding your spouse’s point of view. Chitra Parekh (twenty-nine years and married three years) says: "My husband and I try to listen to each other. Listening for us translates into paying careful attention and respecting the other person’s opinion. Not just feigning to hear out a person as a marital obligation".
One of the reasons married couples have difficulty communicating is that they don´t like to show that they´re suffering. When things start going wrong with the marriage, it’s relatively easy to shrug it off while inside one or both are suffering. Many couples keep up the demeanor that it doesn´t matter to them even though it really does – and is killing them inside. Peace at any price is not worth having, especially if the price is a gradual distance from one another. It´s better to build up ways to sort things out constructively between the two by talking it out. If you don´t, things will degenerate and eventually come out in a much more destructive way.
SOME REASONS FOR COMMUNICATION DIFFICULTY
Many factors prevent communication from taking place. Some of these include:
Do find a time and place that is comfortable and peaceful. Do give your full attention to your spouse when he/she is trying to make a point.
Don´t try to pour your heart out when your spouse is rushing to work or just back tired.
Do allow enough time for your spouse to act on the problem.
Don´t let anything or anyone interrupt you unless absolutely necessary – the children, a ringing telephone, etc.
Do your best to understand each other´s point of view.
Do watch out for non-verbal signals – the tone of voice, the conscious gesture, etc.