Heaven Ministries
Issue 9
June/July 2003

Marriage Alive Newsletter-
effective communication


Dear Readers

Effective Communication

Dear Readers:

Sorry about this issue being so short, but I will make it up to you in the next newsletter when I come back from my vacation. Until Next Time! Take care and God Bless!

And don't forget, I am taking submissions on anything related to marriage, pre-marriage and relationships. I also publish quotes and essay's that relate to family life.

It would be wonderful to come back from vacation with my email full of stories written by my readers!!!!!!!

Effective Communication

How to be a good listener and understand what the other person is trying to say.

Communication is a useful tool, in speech and in writing, for conveying information to others in everyday transactions. This newsletter is a form of communication because I am trying to explain something. I am trying to explain about the importance of communicating thoughts and feelings.

People who can listen well usually will speak what they mean. They explain things in such a way that the other person understands exactly what it is they are trying to convey. Good communicators aren't usually weighed down with pent up emotional baggage and they know how to relay their feelings when hurt to make themselves understood.

Direct negative feelings towards yourself

There is nothing wrong with having feelings of anger and it's okay to communicate them, but to do it in a way that is going to actually assist both parties in getting the issue resolved. Accusing and finger pointing won't get your emotions and thoughts out properly. To correctly express your feelings whether they be negative or pleasurable is to direct your feelings at yourself, instead of at your partner. 

Do say, "I feel so angry that you spent our vacation money. We both worked hard at saving those funds."

Don't say, "You stupid idiot, what is wrong with you, can't you even save some money for our vacation?"   

Do say, "I Feel hurt that you don't want me to go with you to the ball game, but maybe I can go next time." smile and walk off.

Don't say, "You are pathetic. Why don't you want me with you anymore?" Why do you continually try and hurt me?"

Do say, "I feel like you don't love me anymore since you had the affair."

Don't say, "You don't love me anymore, since you had the affair."
(How would you know they don't love you anymore, did they tell you that?)

If your partner has not told you how they feel, then how would you know how they feel? This can become a big problem in relationships. What happens is this: we actually think we can feel for our partner and then we communicate their feelings for them when we really don't have the foggiest idea how they are feeling.

When we get angry with our partner because we feel hurt or are filled with past resentment we become irrational with our feelings and direct them improperly toward our partner by finger pointing, accusing and nagging.  This type of interaction isn't expressing our concerns, but rather behaving in an accusatory fashion, which never works to bring resolve to the issue at hand.

Accusing each other can only bring more heartache to the relationship and is really more of a "one man show." Your partner when attacked with your accusations will run and hide or put up his defenses and attack back and nothing will get accomplished.

What we need here is results from why we are feeling angry. This is something you must first know for yourself so you than can express your feelings to your partner properly.

 Anger Is Okay!

You can still be angry and frustrated with your partner and carry the same feelings you have by directing them onto yourself, instead of on your partner.  In this way, your partner will have to respond in likewise manner, instead of fading you out or getting angry back at you.

You can resolve the issues through proper communication. It just involves one of you to put the pride away and to release emotions properly, no matter how angry you feel.

Expressing thoughts and feelings can be hard to do. Especially when you really aren't sure what those thoughts and feelings are. We should strive to know what it is we want ourselves before saying something that could invariably bring on distorted thinking and hearing. 

A good rule of thumb here is: If You're not sure what you're after, don't say anything at all.  

Next >>>>>>>>>>>>


Accept your partner for who they are

Unfortunately, for some of us, we don't want to accept what our partner is telling us and this is where difficulties can arise in marriage.  Intolerance of another's views and ideas stems from self righteous thinking and isn't right. Too many times, we think we're right and our partner is wrong. But everyone needs the freedom to be oneself -think for oneself and to form opinions without criticism. 

You certainly don't have to agree on everything your partner says or does, but you shouldn't be disagreeable about it either. In other words, accept your partners differences and allow them the freedom to express themselves without degrading their thoughts and feelings. By denouncing and invalidating the ideas and words of our partner we are telling them that we do not accept "who they are".

People who Complain, nag and disagree when the conversation gets negative usually have a difficult time listening to what the other person has to say. They appear to be listening, but are really just thinking about what they are going to say next.  They may get very defensive and attack back just because they disagree with you.
     The reason for this is a good deal of past hurts that they have never gotten out of their system. They are in so much pain and feeling so resentful that they are afraid of taking in anymore hurt. They are a walking, talking time bomb ready to explode at the slightest note.

Really try and listen to what the other person is trying to say

Anyone can become a skilled communicator and effectively interact with others. Try harder to listen to what the other person is trying to say. And if you're at all confused at what you are hearing, ask more questions. asking questions displays intelligence and shows that you are really listening and are interested in the other person.  People appreciate your questions, it makes them feel you are interested in them and what they are saying.

You're not acting dim-witted because you don't know something and need to ask more questions. You're behaving dim-witted when you think you already know someone and take that person's way of thinking and feelings under your own understanding and dissect it into what you want and think it to be. Mass distortion and communication breakdown will result with this kind of thinking.    

When you interact with your partner through faulty communication, it could be detrimental to the partnership and cause your partner to feel like you don't love or care about them. Or they just don't understand what it is that you want from them.  When you act out your aggression in a bad way your partner really doesn't understand what you are trying to convey to them, whether it be a complaint or harbored resentment. 

Get to the point

When dealing with problems within the marriage, I think a few of us women tend to over react and go on and on and not really get to the point of what's bothering us. Sometimes we might veer totally away from what we really want to say and start talking about something else. I think we do this for two reasons:

1.  Because we woman have a lot on our mind, we are the ones that deal with the little details in the marriage and so we usually have two or three things going at once. We are the everything manager of things.


2. Because we like harmony and are afraid to expose the issue for what it really is, hoping our husbands will  understand what we're trying to get at. hehehehehe LOL

Unfortunately for us woman effective communication doesn't work like this and only causes a continual miscommunication problem. 

Most husbands, if they're anything like mine, would just like it if you could just get to the point instead of tarrying along into something else that isn't pertinent to the conversation.

Men on the other hand when expressing themselves have a tendency to shorten things too much and be sort of vague and actually believe that their wives can read their mind! How absurd! This is so far from the truth and unrealistic. Men can talk to other men in this manner, but women need much more from their counterparts then a few "okays" and muffled grunts.

 "Men, if you are talking to your wives about something, it helps to put a little bit more detail into what it is you're trying to say because here is what might happen. 

Okay husband's, lets say you wrote your wife a note asking her if she could drop the hand truck off at Bill's house. Yet, you and your wife know three Bill's and she isn't sure which Bill to give the hand truck to. Just because you know what Bill you're talking about doesn't mean your wife does. She calls you at work and you're in a meeting all day and can't come to the phone. Your wife doesn't know which bill to give the hand truck to. She feels upset now because she thinks she let you down. And of course, you promised to loan the hand truck to Bill. You broke your promise to Bill because you didn't convey proper communication in your note to your wife as to which Bill you were referring to. This happens in everyday oral expression as well.

Skilled expression between two people means that we shouldn't "beat around the bush," but speak our thoughts and convey what we are feeling. Otherwise feelings will not be understood in their entirety and something important that is meant to be said a certain way will not be understood properly, which can cause confusion and problems between people.