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I Don’t Like Talking To My Spouse

20 February 2017   |   5:08 pm

This is a statement I hear too very often from couples. Whilst there may be a “reason” Trump doesn’t like to hold hands with his wife (I’ve heard it all!), there shouldn’t be a reason couples don’t enjoy talking to each other.

When communication becomes extinct in a marriage, I find that criticism abounds in that relationship. What your spouse does goes beyond criticism of your actions and extends to criticism of your character, which could have a long-term effect on your self-esteem.  (Yes, it does! You always avoid them because they make you feel less than adequate once the critical comments start flowing).

In a relationship, no one person is always right. You are two different people from two different backgrounds with two different experiences. The fact that you see things differently proves that what might be considered right…is totally subjective. So, this means there will always be differences between you two and to foster healthy communication in your relationship, you need to be able to talk about your differences without disrespecting each other.

You can complain about a specific issue without criticising your spouse. I hear you asking…is that not the same thing? Isn’t complaining just like criticism? They are actually quite different.

Criticism is an attack on one’s character, while a complaint is expressing displeasure about a situation.  Calling you names because you did something wrong is criticism.  Here’s an example; you had to pick up your partner at a certain time but were horribly late. Then, your partner resorts to calling you names and negatively attacks your character. This behavior signifies that they have formed the habit of criticising you.

Your partner has to learn that instead of criticising and disrespecting you, all they need to do is complain about what they are not happy with.  It’s really that simple. It’s actually okay for them to have issues with things that you do – believe it or not, conflict teaches you both more about each other, your likes and dislikes – but you have to communicate issues by complaining not criticising before you can actually have a healthy, fact-finding discussion about each other.

The key is when you discuss any differences you have with your spouse, bring up discussions in a more neutral manner.  Talk about how the specific situation made you feel – do not attack their character. Tell them the words they say that hurt you (for a marriage to thrive, you both need to be vulnerable with each other).  Notice I’m not saying you shouldn’t bring up issues because like I mentioned earlier, there are differences that occur in marriage as no two people are exactly the same. You will have valid issues to talk about, however, you need to be able to separate your spouse from the issues you face, and talk about the issues instead of attacking their character.

Have you asked Zeezee today?

Having dilemmas in your relationship? Need professional advice? Then ask Zeezee and have her prescribe your very own love medicine.

All you have to do is send an email to dilemmas@guardian.ng

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