As a society, we seem to have reached a point in our relationships where
words like ‘compromise,’ ‘understanding,’ ‘trust’ etc. are thrown around
without any true intent or profound feelings. These words are just that,
words, and weigh and convey very little. In real life, a lot of action needs to
be taken to truly sustain the value of these words. A lot of work needs to be
put in to give relationships a solid foundation. Perceptions between spouses
should always continue to be positive even if their individual thoughts or
personalities are conflicting. Unless you are aware of both—the strengths
and weaknesses of your spouse—which may have genetic, environmental,
financial or social origins, you will never be in a position to truly understand
your partner. Recognizing these attributes, and realising their effects, can
not only alleviate confusions and mollify hurt feelings, but they will also
make you more flexible and empathetic. The most obvious outcome of
good perception and understanding is better, clearer communication with
your partner, and these two, in cohesion, ultimately lead to the Holy Grail of
marriage and family: Satisfaction and Happiness.
Strong, clear and positive interactions and communication between
spouses are a necessary counterpart for quality perception. Excellent
perception of your spouse’s weaknesses and strengths establishes strong
bedrock for your relationship. However, the equally important structure
of family values for your child that is built upon this foundation is created
mainly by open and honest communication. Put another way, if husbands and
wives mutually respect each other, their communion gets a firm backbone,
and becomes a nurturing ground for well-developed children through better
communication skills. This is conducive to attaining harmony and peace in
Negative communication is often characterized by either distorted
communication or one-way communication, and is extremely unhealthy. It
is a strong indicator of unwillingness and non-co-operation from one or both
Distorted communication occurs when spouses regularly bicker and
criticize each other, on unfair grounds, and often, on fairly petty matters, and
are unwilling to understand or even entertain the other’s viewpoints. This
turns into a battlefield to prove the might of one’s prejudiced and narrow
viewpoints over the other’s, and as with all wars, only results in destruction
and disintegration of the already frayed bonds of the relationship. Since
neither spouse is even open to the consideration that the other may have
valid arguments, this sort of communication is not only useless, as it fails
to transfer any relevant information, it is also harmful because it tends to
rubbish and disparage the other’s feelings and perspectives.
One-way communication usually involves one spouse, who is
constantly argumentative and fault-finding, with the other spouse choosing
to keep a firm silence, either due to a sense of intimidation or fear, or due to
forced indifference or apathy. This sort of one-sided communication is just
as harmful, because there is no mutual exchange of viewpoints, and thus,
no room for any kind of constructive arguments or positive reinforcements.
Since only one spouse is involved in the conversation, it becomes impossible
to find any grounds of reconciliation, with the result that the apathy between
the spouses only increases by the day.
Positive communication, on the other hand, is in complete opposition
to the wrongs of negative communication. It seeks to establish open, honest
relationships through a free exchange of opinions, ideas and even criticisms,
between the spouses. It does not mean a complete elimination of arguments
or fights; it only seeks to ensure that even arguments can have a positive
outcome if you can focus clearly on the reasons and differences, and if both
spouses can honestly convey to each other their needs, fears and desires.
Positive communication can, of course, only come about when spouses
perceive each other’s attributes strongly. It seeks to establish a fair and equal
exchange of viewpoints, through open channels of communication. This is
highly conducive to attaining harmony in relationships and thus becomes
one of the essential requirements for the healthy upbringing of children.
A strong relationship can exist only where spouses are free to
communicate with each other, without any fear of retribution or ill-will, and
they give values to their counterpart’s views, ideas and thoughts. Even if
they differ at any point, they can easily sort out the disparities and confusions
through clear, focused communication. And, once they can clear out their
differences and establish mutual respect for each other’s perspectives, it is
only then that they will be joined in perfect union.
It is truly said:
“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love his
mother.”- Theodre Hesburgh.
If you perceive and communicate well with your spouse, all the issues
which might possibly spark off marital discord can be managed and settled.