Communicating Through Crisis
by Mariangela Gordon
Communication in marriage is imperative. Marriage is one of the most valuable relationships, yet we tend to let if fall by the wayside.
Communication during a crisis…during a transition… to reach a decision… to help resolve a problem… is even harder to do (and do it well). Trouble in the form of escalation will surface quickly if you aren’t careful.
Take a moment and ask yourself the following questions:
Do you and your spouse actually communicate? Or do you assume the other person knows what you’re. feeling, wanting or needing?
Do you expect your partner to know if you had a good day or bad day?
Does your partner know that “I got it” or “I’m fine” may be a call for help or reassurance?
Do you welcome moments of quiet once in awhile because your spouse has been communicating all day with colleagues?
Do you only talk about schedules, kids’ activities, or what’s for dinner?
Do you take the time to intentionally make room for communication?
In marriage, it is easy to assume too much and talk too little. Neither husband or wife is a good mind reader and in order to achieve a relationship’s full potential, both parties need to be committed toward respect and patience.
Small things will add up if healthy, loving conversations don’t exist. The mundane activities will begin begin to wear and the smallest comment will surely set us off. What should have been a conversation weeks – maybe even months – ago has now turned into a giant fight because solid communication failed to happen.
What would happen if both parties were willing to initiate communication… simply because they know it will be met with respect, love and assurance—not hostility or blame.
This is the type of communication that should exist in every marriage. By listening to one another, understanding what the other person is saying and acknowledging his/her feelings it will only create a more peaceful and satisfying environment.
As we are all experiencing a sense of uncertainty and fear in our current world, we are all asking,
“Are we going to send our kids to school face-to-face, or keep them home?”
“How will kids make friends in the times of Covid?”
“How will I make friends in a new environment and build my own support system?”
These are real worries that are affecting all of us right now. We are all trying to find answers that work for our families. However, by coming together, asking rather than assuming and making an effort with our spouse our families can be communicate through this hard time.
Here is an exercise that I want to challenge you to try with your spouse.
Set a time and date that is after the kids are in bed, (or on a summer evening walk) and commit to communicating what is in your heart. Turn off the TV and the music. Put away the phones and focus on each other without the distractions of the outside world. This is your time as a couple to talk and to hear each other rather than carrying those emotions and fears until they boil over.
If you and your spouse can commit to making this a part of your weekly (or even daily) routine, I guarantee you will see positive and lasting effects of happiness and fulfillment