A common complaint from married folks is lack of communication with our spouse.
However, we communicate with our spouses all day every day. Talking, arguing and even the silent treatment is a form of communication. It’s not all good communication, but what we say, do, don’t say and don’t do conveys messages.
According to Merriam Webster the definition of communication is the act or process of using words, sounds, signs or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc., to someone else. A message that is given to someone: a letter, telephone call, etc.
Communication is not just verbal. Our actions many times speak louder than our words. We need to be mindful of the messages we send to our spouse. So below are five examples of negative communication habits that need to be stopped now.
- When you give your spouse the silent treatment, you’re communicating. When there is no talking between spouses, the silent treatment from one tells the other that their presence is unwanted. Also in this silence, negative thoughts may grow because the couple has no idea the true thoughts and feelings of the other. This is dangerous because everything is left up to interpretation.
- When you ignore his/her call, texts, emails, you’re communicating. You are basically saying that you don’t feel your spouse is important for you to talk to. Ignoring your spouse can also mean that you are not ready to talk about the problem or you are punishing them. This is not an acceptable way to communicate because it falls in line with the silent treatment. You are intentionally hurting your spouse especially if he/she is trying to apologize.
- When you stay out late without calling or don‘t come home, you’re communicating. Again, you are in danger of sending the message that your spouse’s feelings are irrelevant. Usually this behavior is a way of eliciting some sort of response from your spouse. Either you want him/her to be worried or jealous because you do not feel appreciated or validated.
- When you stop hugging and kissing your spouse, you’re communicating. You know how it is after an argument, you don’t want to give hello kisses or goodbye hugs because you’re still mad. That behavior is communicating just that…you are still mad. Don’t be surprised if when you decide to make a move to kiss/hug that your partner denies you.
- When you deny sex, you’re communicating. Speaking of denying, this is probably the most dangerous form of negative communication.Ladies, we are probably the ones who indulge in this type of behavior. We know what our men want and when we are mad, that’s probably the first thing we do, deny sex. He may allow you to get away with it for only so long. If you decide you are going to see how long you can punish him in this way, you stand a very good chance that he may retaliate and get sex elsewhere. Then you have opened up a new bag of problems. So please, please don’t use sex as a weapon, it’s a dangerous form of negative communication.
So instead of engaging in the above bad behaviors, try to talk to each other. If you cannot talk, write your feelings to each other or text. You must come together and discuss the issues in your marriage if you want to resolve them.
Things may not go your way, you may have some behavioral changes to make, but if you want your marriage, do what it takes to maintain it. Remember everything you do and everything you don’t do is communicating a message to your spouse. It’s communicating in a positive or negative way.
BMWK family, what message are you trying to send when you’re angry at your spouse?