Adjusting to Communicating in a Marriage

Marriage can be challenging in the best of times, and sometimes adding the stress and strain of living abroad or being a bi-cultural couple can bring issues to the surface with a vengeance. I'm sure everyone has heard that communication is the key to a happy marriage, but what do you do when every time you try to communicate it becomes a fight? First of all, it will be helpful to keep in mind, when you are fighting about everything, it usually means that you are talking about nothing. This is important to keep in mind because in each fight there are most likely clues as to what it is your partner needs to talk about. These clues usually come by way of off-topic comments.

Off-topic comments when fighting usually indicate what the fight is truly about. For example, if your partner blows up about the postal service in Japan and then goes into a rant about lack of support, the issue is that they are not feeling supported. Lack of feeling supported is very common, and most people struggle to articulate what it is they actually need from their partner to feel supported. If your partner is not feeling supported, start by sharing that you want to support them but don't know what they need. Do your best to listen without feeling defensive. Know that they are struggling. Do not offer solutions or tell your partner how they feel. Listen to them and try to give them what they need. Ask for examples of times when they felt supported or that you were meeting their needs and try to recreate the example. With patience and understanding, a lot of issues can be resolved. Sadly, not every issue can be resolved this way, and sometimes the fighting has taken too large a toll on the relationship and mediation is needed for communication.

There is no shame in needing a mediator or facilitator to help aid your communication. Facilitated communication brings back balance and fairness. Mediation ensures that each party is seen, heard, and validated. With mediation and facilitation, there is no bad guy. So often in relationships, partners can lose sight of each other and how they became a couple in the first place. Facilitated communication can help you remember what it is about your partner that first drew you to them. Mediation can help you understand what the relationship has to offer you and the benefits of staying together. It can help you heal and move on from hurt and angry feelings. The process can help you rediscover your happiness.

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Posted on 06 Sep 2015 07:35

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