MASTERING COMMUNICATION IN LOVE

communication is key to love
Herbert Mtowo

Communication is one of the sensitive issues that we all have to earn every day of our lives. The best way to improve communication is through learning to communicate effectively and this will help couples develop a happy relationship. A relationship is a mixture of emotions which include feats of disagreements. Marriage is a work in progress; you will have issues along the way from the small stuff like where to spend your vacation to bigger issues that involve money. When couples communicate effectively, they will develop better relationships.

As far as I am concerned she is the best woman when you think about communication, one who makes one open up and share the world which nobody else knows or sees. And conflicts in relationships can be avoided. But that takes a lot of growing in the area of communication in love.

To avoid conflicts and resolve common relational issues, I recommend use of the following marriage communication skills, though there are many skills of communication to grow and master:

1. Speak not when you are angry. Your heart beats more than 90 beats per minute when you are angry. At this rate, it is difficult to use the logical side of your brain. If you speak a word at this time, you might release bashing words that you would later regret. You might say things that would hurt your spouse and may cause an irreparable damage to your marriage. Thus, disengage when angry; speak not a word.

2. Choose non-offensive words when communicating. If you want to express a complaint, start your statement with “I” or “We” instead of “You”. Say, “I think our investment is a mistake” instead of “You made a mistake in investing our money”. Choosing non-offensive words will not illicit defensiveness from your spouse. Even your way of speaking should be with a soft voice.

3. Do not criticize your spouse. Do not attack your spouse’s character and personality. Do not accuse and blame. Don’t be sarcastic. Do not insult your spouse or call him names. Stop non-verbal communications that could trigger anger like eyes rolling in mockery and sneering. Folded arms and a slightly turned back could be construed as disrespect and non-interest in the communication.

4. Do not be defensive. Always listen and have an open mind in your communication. Your feelings may have been hurt during your communication but you have to face the issues and own your faults. Take responsibility for personal actions. Being defensive will prevent you and your spouse from solving your marital issues amicably and develop a happy relationship. Most relationships by far and large run at the defense mode pace.

5. Inform your spouse of your hurt feelings. Never hide them or be passive about these emotions because if you do, you are creating a monster that can destroy your relationship. Being passive about your feelings will compound your hurts and this can turn into an explosive bomb when you reach your greatest tolerance. Addressing hurt feelings is one of the healthiest activities that a married couple should engage in. Never internalize your hurt feelings or subject your spouse to a silent treatment.

6. Be open to interact and communicate. A silent treatment will not only enrage your spouse, it will lead to unresolved issues. Silence is one of the deadly killers of relationships, and by all means we should try to avoid it.

Communicate with your ears, eyes, heart and mind. Make sure that you perfectly understand what your spouse is talking about. Listen to the needs and emotions being expressed. Make your spouse feel that you are listening attentively and feeling the emotions being expressed. Validate what you heard and felt by re-phrasing the statements or asking questions.

Master these relationship communication skills so that they become natural to you. These relationship communication skills then become automatic when you encounter marital issues. You automatically withdraw them from your system and unconsciously become your tools of engagement even when you are tired, upset, stressed or angry.

Relationship communication skills are one of your best tools to help you develop a healthy marriage life.

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Strengthening your wife…

Making her comfy with you

By Valentine Zhou

Men, imagine your wife achieving everything she desires to do! And when she is interviewed on national Television, they ask her – “What made you do this much greatness?”, then she simply replies, “I can do anything I purpose to do because my husband helps me, supports me, encourages me and backs my every move. Wouldn’t that be just wonderful?

I remember the first days I got married; I used to say, when we had an argument with Shantelle I would pull out heavy artillery just to shoot her down and would make sure she stays down. I would even say hurtful and insulting words just to win the argument. At times I would lie just to emerge the winner. How many men relate with me there?
But as we progressed in marriage I discovered that Shantelle was no longer confident of herself anymore and I wanted to push her into being strong when I wanted her to be strong and shoot her down when we had an argument. Till one day she opened up to me and today me that your word just hurt me and destroy my self-esteem.

After I had written then what did Jesus do? A piece, I was forwarded a scripture that I know and knew very well but now it had a new meaning and a new understanding that came with it. And made me realize how I should have and how I should treat my wife from here going forth.I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.Philippians 4:13

If the bible simplifies a husband and wife relationship to that of Christ and the church, it than means as men our template then is Christ. We draw from Christ as men, we follow Christ as He is the greatest example. I then got an understanding that this has to be Shantelle saying, “I can do all thing cause Vale strengthens me”. Then I thought what did Jesus do to strengthen his church? It then dawned on me that I am not just the King in my house but also a prophet and a priest. I am my wife’s biggest supporter, I am my wife’s biggest encourage r, I am my wife’s biggest financier, I am my wife’s biggest intercessor, I am my wife’s bigger pillar of strength and I am my wife’s greatest fixer (when she makes mistakes I will not shoot her down) – just to mention a few the list is endless.

Philippians 2 says, “….let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus….” Meaning we don’t have to think what Christ would have done but focus on what he did. Christ put her bride first and made it His mission to just get the best for her. Philippians further says that insight of Him being God he lowered himself just for His bride’s sake. How much more as husbands should we make our wife’s say you are my greatest supporter? Not in public but in private.

Advice for the unmarried

By Pastor Mark Driscoll

Marry someone who will be a fit for every season of the life that awaits you together. As I’ve mentioned before, Grace and I met in high school, married in college, and then graduated to start Mars Hill Church together a few years later. She then quit work to stay at home and be a mother to our now five children, and we recently celebrated our sixteenth wedding anniversary and a total of over twenty years together including dating. So far, together we have been through high school, college, ministry, and parenting.

One day our five children will be grown, and we will grow old together. Grace does not get to travel with me often, but when she does, we talk often about how great our current season of life is but also how fun it will be when the kids are grown and we can travel together for ministry and enjoy our grand kids. Marriage is about getting old and serving one another in every season of life. So marry someone with every season in mind. Too often, Christians marry only with children in mind and do not consider that one day the kids will be gone, but the couple will be together all the time; as a result, when the kids leave home, crisis hits the marriage because the kids were the glue that held things together.

We love our children, but we also love being together and growing old together.
choice to marry

YOU NEED A BIG HEART TO FORGIVE!!!

Infidelity in marriages is a common issue. Surviving an affair is very hard on the couple as well as the entire family unit. It’s difficult to accept the fact that your husband cheated, but more and more women are deciding to forgive their husbands and move on. Why more women are deciding to forgive infidelity in marriages may come as a surprise to some. It takes great strength in character, plenty of patience and an open heart to forgive after being hurt so badly.

A very common reason women may forgive their husbands is because of their children. It can be very traumatic for children to see their parents break up. In order to save their children hardship, a decision to move on and leave the memory of infidelity behind is not uncommon. Therefore children are sometimes the catalyst which initiates the forgiving process and can lead you and your husband on the right track once again.

Another reason women are deciding to forgive infidelity in marriages is plain and simple. They still love their husbands despite the fact they have been hurt. If you find it hard to think of your life without your spouse, surely there are strong feelings there. The feeling of resentment or betrayal takes some time to diffuse, but then slowly, you come to realize the value of your relationship. Sometimes mistakes like these can make the relationship even stronger and bring a couple closer to each other. Discussing the matter and resolving the troubling issues will do wonders for your marriage.

Infidelity in marriages does not automatically reduce the affection and concern a couple feels for one another. Given the time and space, many women learn to forgive and start focusing on rebuilding their marriage. This is possible only if your husband realizes his mistake and is ready to make up for the damage he has caused to the relationship.

Forgiving your husband does not mean that you allow him to make the same mistake again. He should still be held accountable for his wrong doing and make amends for his behavior. Surviving the affair and forgiving allows you to bury the feelings of resentment and bitterness so that you can be as peace with the circumstances and move ahead.

If you are ready to forgive your husband’s infidelity, there are plenty of resources which can help the process of healing and gaining back the trust and intimacy. The choice should be made depending on how YOU feel and what circumstances YOU are in. If forgiveness is possible and required for surviving the affair then there is certainly no harm in giving your marriage another chance.

It is most important to remember, you should not make a decision in haste! Think about what you want and how you feel towards this relationship. There is no use staying in a relationship that does not give you any pleasure or companionship as it will only lead to more heartache and resentment. But if you truly love your husband and want to give it another try, there is hope in knowing many other couples have succeeded and are enjoying a loving marriage once again.

Setbacks and Adversity are you managing them!!

Everyone at least once in their life experiences some form of a setback, adversity, failure or loss in at least one area of their life. Adversity can strike with or without notice. It can hit a relationship, a loved one, a career, your business, your health or your financial status. No matter where or when it hits, the anxiety, stress, frustration, disappointment, fear, sadness or panic leave the same feelings or emotions in its wake. A senses of hopelessness and/or despair. Life is circular not linear. First there is birth, then growth, then maturity then death, followed again by birth or re-birth and so on. This is the law of the universe, whether it is life itself or a change in career or a relationship. I do not mean to imply that all relationships must die before their time, but they do eventually end. There is a big difference. Endings are different than death. Death is certainly an ending, but there are literally thousands of types of endings. Periods of life end, for example youth is followed by adulthood. All careers end if not by premature death, then retirement, or the beginning of a new or different career. Relationships end, if not physically, then a stage in the relationship, for example lust, infatuation or physical attraction is replaced in long standing relationships with deep and abiding love. Setbacks and adversity are often signals that some aspect of life has come to an end or needs to come to an end. They are wake-up calls or what I call choice points in life. Many people, myself included, on a number of occasions, resist endings from time to time. Sometimes however, we embrace or encourage them. We want to continue life, business or a way of life forever. Most people die with unfinished business left in them. It is seldom that there isn’t something more that could have been said, done, seen, learned or shared by someone who has passed on. This is not an article about death and dying. It is about bouncing back from an event that life has been thrown in our path, or we have brought into our life because of our attitudes, decisions, behavior or actions. At the end of this article I will offer some ideas on how to bounce back, but first let’s look at a few related ideas. What gives adversity its power over emotions, feelings and responses? Why is adversity a tool used by some to improve or change, while it is used by others as an excuse or reason to give up or whine and bemoan their circumstances? Where is the potential learning or lessons in a setback or adverse situation? Life isn’t fair, and it isn’t unfair. It just is. Life is neutral. It brings each person unique opportunities to learn and grow as a result of the events or circumstances that cross their path. Everyone, I repeat everyone regardless of their age, sex, nationality, religion, career status or financial position is a student in life. Some people, upon an outward-in first glance may “have it made”. But do not judge by appearances only. Everyone has inner battles of one kind or another that they are fighting. No one is immune to the teachings of life. Class is always in session. School is never out. There are no vacations. We never graduate. We don’t get to select the curriculum, but we do have to do all the assignments and take all the quizzes. If we pass, we get to move on to other sometimes bigger or higher lessons. If we fail, we get to repeat the same lesson again and again until we finally learn whatever it is we need to learn as we travel through life. The repeated lesson might present itself from a different spouse, career situation, or any number of new and/or different circumstances, but the lesson will be the same. There are several predicable stages that people go through following any loss regardless of its nature or severity. They are denial, anger, acceptance and finally moving forward. Many of us bring repeated adversity of one kind or another into our lives and a great many people choose to see themselves as victims. To see yourself as a victim, and not take the responsibility for your circumstances is to live in an inner emotional world dominated by blame, guilt and resentment. I once heard a friend make the statement, “why is this happening to me again?” There was a common denominator in all of the repeated events. It was him. Adversity gives us the opportunity to do a number of things as we move through our lives. Some of them are: reevaluate old life patterns that are not working; see ourselves more clearly as a contributor; develop new attitudes about life, relationships, money, people, work etc.; observe how we handle the lessons we are given. A number of people have asked me why some people seem to have or attract more adversity or failure while others seem to glide through life with wonderful relationships, stable financial lives, growing careers, lots of friends and excellent health. I don’t know for sure why some people seem to have more, do more and become more while others struggle daily with the basics of life. But I do have a few ideas and will share them with you as food for thought only. You won’t find these in a psychology text or on a counselors couch. They are just my observations seeing life through my own personal struggles and successes. Everyone is on their own personal path through life. There is a law in the universe called the law of cause and effect. There is another metaphysical concept that states, be careful of what you ask for because you will probably get it. Still another says, what you are seeking is seeking you. There is a great quote from Yogi Bera, “expecting different results from repeated behavior is a mild form of insanity.” Another from my relationship seminar says, life determines who comes into your life, your attitudes and actions determines who stays. As you can see from a number of different perspectives, a great deal of the adversity and loss in our lives is self-inflicted as a result of our conscious actions, expectations, perceptions and thoughts or our unconscious values, beliefs, judgments and paradigms. All behavior is the result of a persons consciousness. To attempt to change behavior without first changing consciousness is to invite failure whether it is with eating habits, communication patterns, or work ethics, and everything in between. The reason so many people fail at whatever behavior they attempt to change is because they try to change outside-in rather than inside-out. What does all of this psychological mumbo jumbo have to do with adversity and bouncing back? Everything. Our state of mind is often fertile ground that attracts adversity into our lives. Our state of mind will determine how we will respond to, or overcome the events that come to us. Our perceptions, or filters (how we see life) will determine our interpretation of whether this is an adversity or not. Give twenty different people the same adverse event, and I guarantee that some will see it as negative, some will see it as positive and some will see it as devastating. The event was the same, the interpretations unique and personal. Let’s summarize and answer the first question, what gives adversity its power over people’s emotions, feelings and responses? When we are confronted with a situation regardless of its nature, that is perceived as a threat to our comfort, security, sense of well being or the status quo we tend to imagine the worst. Fear takes over. How will I survive alone? Will I ever find a new job or career that I will be successful in? Will I ever find another lasting nurturing relationship? What will my life be like with only memories of the past? Am I destined to struggle my entire life? How can I ever get over this tremendous loss? There are others, but I am confident you see my point. When we operate out of a consciousness of fear, we tend to lose our perspective. We don’t think rightly, see clearly or feel safe. We therefore see ourselves as victims and out of control of our lives. Adversity can be a tool, just like any other emotional tool for positive change. If the wake-up call is heard, we can listen carefully to what we believe it is trying to teach us. This takes awareness, courage, self-love and patience. If we are too hard on ourselves and beat ourselves up thinking, I am such an idiot, or I’ll never get this right or, I deserve all this bad stuff, we will find it difficult to create the proper mind-set to change direction. Adversity needs to be looked at with precision, careful observation and honest introspection. It needs to be seen as one of life’s teachers, and not some villain that is out to get us or beat us down. Having said all this it is also important that we not let ourselves off the hook with justification or acceptance. It is important to learn to become more comfortable with where we want to be or who we want to become rather than where we are or who we are. As promised here are a few things you can do if you are smack in the middle of a situation that is uncomfortable, challenging or trying to teach you something, in other words an adversity. One, try and keep the circumstances or situation in perspective. Will this be as big an issue in 100 years as it is today. Two, evaluate the situation in light of your entire life. Three, focus on what you have, not what you lost. This isn’t any easy step when you are neck deep in pain, sorrow or grief, but continuing to focus on what is no longer, tends to keep you locked in the past and a state of ‘no positive action’. Four, do something, anything to re-focus your thoughts, energy or activities in a positive or more healthy direction. Five, if it is a loss of a relationship or loved one, remember all that you had with them that was good and positive. Six, Remember you can’t change what has happened, but you can change the future. And you change your future in your present moments. You also create all of your memories positive or negative, in your present moments. Seven, keep in mind the concept that you don’t always get to determine what comes into your life, but you always get the choice of how to react or respond to it. These are not easy steps. Loss and adversity of any kind are painful and difficult as long as you continue to remain focused on the loss or the problem. To use adversity as a positive teacher that has come lovingly into your life to help you overcome shortcomings, character defaults or poor judgment is a sign of emotional maturity. To wallow indefinitely in the negative circumstance, failure, disappointment or loss is to remain stuck and out of control. Life is neutral. It doesn’t care how you react or respond to its teachings. So the final question I would leave you with is, what kind of a student are you as you pass through the classes in life? Are you a willing learner or are you resisting the teaching, and the opportunity for personal growth?