Communication in marriage is critical to success. Dr. Gary Chapman in his excellent book, “Covenant Marriage” states that 86% of divorces can be attributed to deficient communication. What drives divorce? Usually, it is the inability to accept differences in a healthy manner (Poor communication). We can live in the same house and be unable to communicate. We can be physically close and yet miles apart emotionally or spiritually or mentally. Ask yourself a simple question if you are married. Do I feel lonely? Do I feel understood?
We need constant communication to make sure that we are not drifting apart. No communication will cause separation as we go into the dark about one another. A big part of healthy communication is resolving conflict which is inevitable and virtually a part of daily life. Our differences clash and we need to be able to talk about it. Money is often cited as the cause for most divorces. But, it’s not the money, it’s the failure to talk about the money, to come up with a plan to handle the money. You could say that about any subject, we need to be able to talk about it and deal with it. If we don’t, the problem will not just disappear; likely it will grow as a barrier to intimacy.
Gary suggests that we make time to talk a top priority. If we are too busy to talk, that will prevent us from dealing with life. Conflict has two harmful ways in which our marriages can be damaged: flight or fight. Flight is the silent option which will never produce results (passive). Fight is the anger option that involves one partner seeking control without respecting the other (aggressive). If your pattern is one or the other, you will know that you do not have peace and you do not have true resolution. The proper way to communicate is to take the time to truly exchange thoughts and feelings so that we can understand one another. Sitting down over a period of time and agreeing on a spending plan based on each other’s references is the way to resolve the money problem. Seeing a counselor together or reading a good book on the topic in question can be very beneficial.
Sounds simple enough right? But, it’s not usually. We could easily be trapped in a pattern that prevents good communication and not even know it. Gary calls them the four “fowls”.
To learn them sooner rather than later please consider buying the book! Otherwise, you will learn them in the next few blogs.