We no longer talk freely with my husband, please help!

Unhappy couple

Many spouses feel less happy in the marriage even though they once felt it was the right one for them. Re-establishing your communication will need to be a top priority

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Hi Pastor Kitoto

I have been married for five years now. My husband and I get along very well. During courtship, we promised to be honest with each other in our communication. However, I have noticed he gets offended when I tell him uncomfortable truths. For instance, when I share my reservations concerning investments or I propose we turn down an invitation to an event. I used to do this in the past and it was never an issue. I had resolved to keep my feelings to myself but a part of me desires to save our openness and free communication. What should I do?

Hi

I would like to begin by congratulating you on practicing such great values many tend to miss when it comes to communication. It can be frustrating particularly when the marriage seems to slide backward from values they once held dear. I know of many people who got married and they have faced similar issues in communication like you have mentioned whose marriages have been unfulfilling.

How you get your relationship back to the basics or priorities you have mentioned remains the key. It is no longer just the resources like owning a house that makes marriage succeed. Open and free dialogue is as essential to marriage just as blood is to the proper functioning of the body. Re-establishing your communication will need to be a top priority. Without it, the marriage will go dry.

First, recognising that something is missing in your communication is the best place to start. The two of you must agree on the essentials of a great relationship like good and effective communication, and proper disclosure. This is what cements a marriage together.

Marriage

I am not sure whether your man is of the same opinion. He has to see what lack of disclosure is doing to the relationship. As much as having a marriage is great, having an agreement on how to make life together happen is more critical. Instead of dwelling on what you are doing, suppose you took time to talk about your early days together. Allow him you get a glimpse on how life was then.

Second, to walk towards restoring your marriage, your husband’s involvement is essential. As a couple, your level of involvement on the causes of him being apprehensive with your open communication is key to the future of your relationship. When and why did he put a shield around him?

 Is he the one to determine what you should say or not say as far as your marriage is concerned? This could cause you to feel like you are being pushed into a prison of some kind. The moment your expectations appear to be headed on the death bed; the relationship will start to lose its lustre.

 However, your involvement with each other as newly-weds may be an unfair gauge to use now. During dating and courtship, there were a lot of immature promises that lacked a clear foundation. As days went by, things changed.

It is important that both of you be committed to re-establishing the basics that I have mentioned and seek to form a collective approach on how to move forward. My worry would only be if your man decides to hold his position. A commitment to an honest talk between yourself and him on the road blocks to the open and sincere communication needed will ensure that both of you arrive at the desired position. Let me suggest some steps of moving together towards resolution:

Avoid short-cuts

Be clear and realistic in your expectations of each other. Be clear on the areas of communication that are lacking. What are the causes? Identifying the causes and the effects on the relationship is essential.

Seek resolution for each hurdle together. Instead of using the correction approach, try to use the sharing of mutual experiences (both positive and negative) approach. Make it easy for both of you to engage in the resolution. Both of you must make the choice to build and practice a team approach on the issues. Presenting a unified approach is key to not only the success of the process but also success of the relationship.

Set and look for ways on how new verifiable expectations can be tested and tolerated. Pain resulting from what has been said or not said must be resolved within clear and safe boundaries of communication and association.

Resolving issues can be a challenge and emotive. Remaining sober and clear minded when discussing is essential. We need to avoid contamination and toxic talk. Don’t allow unverified opinions or vengeful talk in resolution. This will only build negativity in the relationship. Respecting and honouring other people’s perspectives does not necessarily mean that you agree with them.

 Finally, a healthy you is key to the association you seek with others. Although your dating and courtship was fun, at the same time hard and challenging moments come as the relationship matures. In fact, some well-nurtured relationships could face headwinds of opposition that could threaten its survival. The disconnection you feel now can be overcome with determination and intentionality. If we want a life that brings pleasure and honour in our homes, then there is no short cut but to lay down the kind of foundation that will give you that which you desire.

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