Over the years I have watched many relationships suffer because of two words,”poor communication.” This is simply when both parties harbour questions, hurts and pains in their hearts and act on them without ever sitting with their spouses to tell them about the things eating them up.
You hear statements like “she has been doing so and so for years and all that really annoys me,” from a man who boils up at the mention of his wife’s name; and a woman who says, “he is so annoying because of this and that” to her friends, but never tells her man and later acts on her bitterness to ask for a divorce or split. To some novices in the world of relationships, this may seem all strange. Think about it, when your friend annoys you it should be as simple as saying, “I don’t like what you did or said” right? I guess we all used to do this as kids, but as we grow older this all changes. We have egos to deal with, we have the fear of starting an argument should we tell our partner/friend that what she/he did is annoying; we fear hurting or annoying them even further but then again, keeping the pain within worsens the matter. Pushing stuff underneath the carpet is all that happens in many relationships: a man is too close with another lady and when his wife wants to talk about it, he declines her request. This is just an example, but there are countless cases and we who are or have been in relationships know exactly what these cases are.
We’ve got a thousand years
It’s going to take a lifetime to know the person you love because we humans keep changing as we grow and as our experiences increase. And for that reason we must be bold enough to talk about the good and bad of our relationships with each other; do you know that many people have divorced not because of the things they claimed caused the split but because of the questions and hurts stored up in their hearts that they never talked to each other about? This obviously doesn’t mean to nag, but to always pray to God for wisdom to know the way and manner to say something.
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil (Ephesians 4:26-27).
The bible says don’t let the sun go down on your anger. This just goes to show that it is best to let out that which hurts us and to let our spouses know what we dislike than to keep all the pain within us: thereby giving the devil all the ammunition he needs to destroy our relationships.
Beauty and Battles
I think honestly one of the things we all need to look out for before entering a relationship is a person’s willingness to learn from and accept their mistakes whiles growing in the process. A relationship shouldn’t be about beauty and battles: that is, being called a beautiful couple by many, yet have a thousand unnecessary battles at home. It shouldn’t be about having the finest person and comparing him or her to every other person like a medal you earned; even though you hate them more and more with every passing day for the things you can’t talk to them about. A beautiful person must first and foremost be able to reason with you, then understand you, then play with or be that child-like friend to you. It takes a person who can reason with you to say “let’s talk about this because I want our relationship to grow stronger and better”; and when you are getting angry it takes a person who understands (can empathise with you) to say “you don’t need to get angry about this, we are trying to solve a problem” and finally it takes that friend who you can play with to smile at and have fun with you after you have worked things out after arguing.
If you feel insecure about yourself: if you see yourself as not smart enough to reason with the one you are with, upgrade yourself! Ask questions so they teach you, tell them about your lack of knowledge: be open rather than quiet and unwilling to speak or reason with them when they have pressing issues on their minds. Do not make yourself substitutable, that is, never make your spouse look for another person better than you in what you should develop yourself in: because the truth is: every human being who is ready for a mature relationship needs all these three people in one person: a friend they can reason with, who understands them and who they can play with. Lacking in one of these areas opens your relationship up to third parties who for their own reasons are interested in the very person you are dating or married to.
If you can’t find all these three key features in a person and all you see is a pretty face, then you really need to set things straight with them after praying about the future of your relationship.
Fear of an argument
Let me ask you a question: would you rather see your relationship destroyed after prolonged silence or you will love to have a little bit of tension after you pour your heart out so that you can live in peace later?
Whenever the fear of speaking or being open reigns in a relationship, then the death of that relationship is close—hiding in the shadows and only waiting for a little insignificant argument to be the catalyst for the relationship’s demise. Think about this! If fear is your problem then you aren’t ready to be in a relationship: be it the fear of being wrong, hurt and shouted at.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love (1 John 4:18).
Fear is not from God, obviously, and that’s why when it reigns in our relationships, we have nothing but hurt swept underneath carpets.
On to the next one
It’s sometimes easy to think that the best solution in moments of hurt is a breakup, on to the next one blah blah; but truthfully the grass is never greener on the other side: hoping to jump into another relationship without first improving yourself and how you communicate with a person you love will only lead to the same problems in your new “dream” relationship. Sometimes people just have to realise that the solution to relationship issues isn’t a breakup or divorce but simply sitting down as inspired by God to communicate and work things out.
A relationship built on a foundation of good communication can weather any storm. Let us learn from God who is forever willing—despite our countless sins—to reason with us and to work things out.
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord:
though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool (Isaiah 1:18)