Many marriage counselors identify communication as a major problem in marriage. Lack of communication has a devastating effect on the couple, leading to emotional isolation. Because communication nurtures the relationship, it is important that couples acquire this skill to strengthen the marital bond. It is a way of enabling spouses to meet each other’s needs, while having their own needs met.
Men and women have different ways of communicating. Probably this is biologically determined. Social upbringing, culture and environment may influence the way people communicate. In certain cultures, women are shy and have difficulty expressing themselves. Men tend to focus on impersonal objective things. Women are more involved in the emotional and personal dimensions of life. Men have difficulty in talking and revealing their innermost thoughts. They fight and are shy of giving praise.
Communication has several dimensions. Merely talking constitutes only about 50% of all communication. Body language, facial expression, and tone of voice can communicate anger, sadness, happiness and other emotions. Communication is not merely an exchange of information. It may be sharing of feelings, details about daily events, or discussion on matters affecting home and family. Unless there is free communication between spouses, it is impossible to gauge what is going on in each other’s minds. Presuming that they love each other and want to keep their partners happy, they must tell each other what makes them happy. One cannot rest on the surmise that the other is a mind reader. Communication should be at every level and every aspect of their lives. Many decisions have to be taken in the course of their marital journey. Unless they communicate and make decisions together, life will not be easy. Each may have his or her own ideas about how to tackle a particular issue. Only communication will enable easier decision making through understanding, negotiating and cooperation.