It’s not untrue that Marriage is the foundation of the home, the family, the nation, and the human race. It’s also not untrue that Marriage, as an institution, suffers from an untold pickle. It would be of note that marital crises have no respect for culture, skin color, language, financial status or national borders. For every tear has the same color. Every pain hurts. The fact that you are black or white or Indian does not exonerate you from marital predicaments.
One of the reasons for the increase of divorce rate in most communities is not necessarily the lack of love, but the inability for couples to “Stay in love”. Staying in love is possible because couples understand each other and communicate effectively with each other.
Some couples love themselves but prefer to live separately because of the lack of effective communication. Some, even after the process of divorce, still love their ex-partners, yet they enjoy keeping a distance between them. If one is separated or divorced and still desires the ex-partner, it, therefore, shows that there was something missing somewhere that, if they had discovered and understood, could have helped prevent the divorce or separation in the first place. Don’t you think so? You see, couples need effective communication for better understanding.
The reasons for this article are to help couples better understand their partners via dialogue, communicate effectively, enrich their love life, and consequently decrease the rate of separation and divorce, if not eradicate them completely. For these to be true, however, you must not only read but also apply the 13 best practices for couples to enhance dialogue as shared in this article. They are tested principles that work for couples who imbibe them.
1. Always Be A Good And Attentive Listener To Your Love Partner
Everyone must be quick to listen, says James 1:19. A good listener is swift to hear you speak, and gives you his attention free from distractions.
With the advance of technology, our generation has enjoyed great comfort in life. And one of its benefits has been the comfort of better communication, not without its darker side, however. And it’s an irony that the comfort of communication is the killer of communication. We have gadgets to enhance our communication but with these various gadgets, we seem to have lost the quiddity of communication.
Marital, love, family and even professional relationships, now our days, suffer because of what technology brings to us, which isn’t a bad thing, but when we don’t understand how to use the tools of communication to make communication effective, we lose the whole essence of it all.
Technology has affected our ability to concentrate and to listen well. Some of us are not aware or might not be honest about the fact that our attention is divided when it comes to listening to others. It’s not hard to see people glued to their TVs, Smartphones, Tablets, Laptops, and other electronic gadgets when talking or listening to someone.
For couples to communicate better, they need the undivided attention of each other. That includes the mind, the eye contact, the opened ears, and a hushed mouth. You can’t talk to your lover in a dialogue and be talking to your Smartphone at the same time. No! Put down your phone, and give your partner unreserved attention. A dialogue is a dialogue and deserves the full attention of the one you are in love with.
2. Always Respond Only When Your Partner Has Finished Speaking.
You two can’t speak at the same time in a dialogue, who would listen to whom. But if your partner hasn’t finished speaking, what do you do? Keep listening! It’s a shame to give an answer before you hear the question. Even if you know the answer before the question, please, give the answer only after the question is asked. For couples to enhance their dialogue and avoid confusion, it is wise to heed this Biblical advice: “He who answers before listening is an act of folly and his shame” (Proverbs 18:13).
3. Always Think Before You Talk.
In a dialogue, partners don’t just talk because they have the mouth to talk. No, they talk because they have something to say to each other. Think well to see that what you have to say to your partner is what you really want to say.
The Bible says that “The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil” (Proverbs 15:28). Don’t be the kind who gushes out evil when given the opportunity to talk.
4. Always Be Slow To Talk.
There is more hope for a fool than for someone who speaks in haste, says Proverbs 29:20. Words come from the mind. The speed at which your mind processes its words differs from the speed with which your mouth airs your words. Your speed can cause you not to filter words carefully. Some partners are too fast to speak and only regret at the end what they have spoken.
Some people think before they could speak, and some speak before they could think. Some speak faster than their minds could process, while others speak at the rate of their minds. But there are some people who do not make use of their minds at all. They don’t know the right things to say; the right ways and the right time to say it. Don’t ruin the dialogue with the speed of your speech. Slow, slow, just slow down !!
5. Always Speak In A Way To be Understood
Don’t forget that a great goal for dialogue is to be understood. If you wanna be understood, only employ ways that can help convey what you mean to your partner. It may be facial expression or body movements, gestures, or even using simple and appropriate words can enhance the dialogue and achieve its goal.
6. Always Tell The Truth.
The Bible tells us not to lie to each other (Colossians 3:9). It also says that we must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to our neighbors (Ephesians 4:25). Many marriages are destroyed today because of lies that were discovered later. The lifespan of any lie is short. You can hide behind your lies, but one day, the truth would be known. You cannot afford to lie to the partner you claim you love, because love is honest and rejoices only with the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6). Don’t lie to win his or her heart. A partner who truly loves you would not stop loving you because you told the truth. Be honest, truthful, and faithful to your partner.
7. Always Avoid Being Silent When You Should Talk.
A dialogue isn’t a monologue where one person does the talking. It’s not a one-sided communication. The communication is always two-sided at least. So say something when it’s your turn to talk. You don’t have to be silent when you should talk. Don’t use the silence as a means of punishment. Don’t use the silence to frustrate your spouse, instead explain the reasons for your hesitation. Whether you are hurt or in pain, let your partner know how you feel. That’s what a dialogue is all about, anyway. You might have heard of the saying that, it only takes a good man to keep quiet for evil to prevail. Of course, that cannot be overemphasized.
8. Always Be quick To Resolve Issues.
Do you ignore little issues and called them inconsequential? Trivial? Do You say it doesn’t matter? This doesn’t help things at all. Does it? No matter how nugatory an issue might be, it has a cumulative effect when ignored. You may be surprised to hear that what some people called “Petty issue” was what caused their divorce. Little marital issues grow bigger over time when ignored. A conflict is a conflict no matter how small it is, and must be resolved quickly before it turns into something else.
9. Always Avoid Quarrel Of Any Kind.
This only makes things worse. Some partners find themselves quarreling with one another when in dialogue. Some cannot have a minute discussion without a fight. “Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out (Proverbs 17:14). “It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel”, says the Bible (Proverbs 20:3).
10. Always Avoid Critical Remarks.
This means that you don’t have to criticize your partner when you are in a dialogue. Constructive criticism is okay. But there’s no seat of judgment in an atmosphere of dialogue. You don’t point fingers but seek ways to encourage your spouse. The Bible tells us not to judge so that we also would not be judged (Matthew 7:7). A Dialogue can be a very good place for correction, character building, and improvement when handled in the right way.
11. Always Acknowledge Your Mistake If There Is Any
We are all humans subject to mistakes at one time or the other. Don’t allow your mistake to hinder you from having a conversational dialogue with your partner. Rather, acknowledge your mistake when brought to your knowledge. When you know that you are wrong, don’t hide it. Don’t be ashamed. Don’t overlook it. And don’t call it insignificant, even if your spouse doesn’t talk about it. Don’t let your pride fool you. It’s your duty as an honest lover to acknowledge it before your partner. The Bible says to confess your sins to each other (James 5:16).
12. Always Asks For Forgiveness.
This automatically follows the one above. If you’ve acknowledged your mistake, don’t keep quiet about it indefinitely, but ask for forgiveness. Let your partner know that you are sorry about it. A partner that loves you will forgive you. And you would not lose respect in so doing. Rather, it brings healing to the soul and strengthens the love in that relationship. We’re asked to forgive one another if there’s any grievance against someone (Colossians 3:13). This is not true, however, if you don’t ask for forgiveness.
13. Always Avoid To Ask For Things.
Some couples engage in dialogue because they want something personal from their partners at the end of it all. Some only dialogue when there is a need of some sort. Whenever they seek to dialogue with you, you could tell that there’s a need somewhere coming up. Consequently, this has led others to avoid dialogue because they don’t wanna feel compelled to give, or because they have nothing to give to the one they love.
Giving to the one you love is not a bad idea at all. But do not make the habit of asking for things whenever you are in a dialogue with your loved one. Don’t give the impression that your nice conversation is selfishly motivated. That ruins the power of dialogue. Do engage in dialogue without asking for something material or personal. If you find it difficult to avoid this habit, then you become the giver and not the receiver. After all, it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).
Thanks for reading. Please leave a comment below. Tell us how you intend to improve the dialogue with the one close to your heart.
A Teaching From The Reverend PC Akubueze
Used Under Permission. Copyright 2019