So you’re married. You have an attractive, loving, caring, smart spouse and you share the same values and standards. You both practice your Catholic Faith. You have compatible attitudes and habits. You’re both open to life, you know you will raise your children in the Faith, and you have the means to provide for a growing family. Things are going to work out fine, right? Right?
Well, that depends. Are you willing to work at your marriage every single day to express your love for one another? Couples can look perfect on paper, but if you don’t develop your marriage on a daily basis, it can just as easily fall apart. One of the biggest components of this daily struggle is the concept of communication between spouses. Even while trying to handle a profession, domestic needs, and children, you should try to communicate your needs, your desires, your worries, and your thoughts to your significant other. Without proper discussion, tension will build, and many marriages that lack communication end in divorce.
Recently on Trending with Timmerie, celebrity and royal matchmaker Cristina Pineda joined Timmerie to talk about the do’s and don’ts of intermarriage communication and the way to maintain a strong relationship, even while a million other issues and inconveniences come your way.
Cristina started by saying that while divorces and splits are an unfortunately common occurrence, it doesn’t have to be that way. “Let’s look at the big issue here, and that is spouses keeping things from each other. I call that spiritual contraception.” Keeping the lines of honesty open between people who are united for life is crucial to the integrity of that bond. Even if what you have to say is unpleasant or uncomfortable for whatever reason, the right thing to do is share it with your spouse.
Timmerie added that many times, usually husbands, feel like they can put up with things they don’t like because it’s not a big deal. Then weeks, months, years, decades will go by and by that point, there’s so much built-up angst about a pet peeve that all it takes is one poke and it all comes pouring out. Married couples should avoid bottling up emotions and playing the waiting game with themselves. Often, those issues are what breed resentment because you start having the conversation about it in your head without ever communicating your thoughts.
“Okay, so you might think, communication is important. I got it. But I don’t have time.” If you wanted to have the time, you would make the time. So do it! She recommends setting time aside once a week or once a month to talk with your spouse about issues and problems that have cropped up. What are your initial thoughts? What do you want to do about it? What should you do about it? Can anything be done about it? Those are the building blocks of an honest, loving, communicative marriage.
Cristina also offered some guidelines for having these important conversations about issues. Firstly, do not have them every night. Have conversations, yes, but do not let the negative issues be the topic every night, or else open communication will begin to have the opposite effect. It will seem like nothing is going right. Secondly, set them up so that you are in a private setting so you can both be open. The idea is similar to the concept of a fraternal correction. It shouldn’t feel like a courtroom with witnesses and a jury. There are no sides. You’re on the same side; the same team.
And thirdly, don’t talk about marital issues while driving, distracted, multitasking, or in front of your kids. These issues are important, private, and serious. Since they are important, give them your full attention. Since they’re private, don’t let other people be privy to your personal issues. And since they’re serious, don’t let your children be a part of them. They can become lively discussions and that can often be perceived as arguing or fighting to kids.
“I know how busy we all are and sometimes that feels like the only time you can communicate something. But something I learned from a priest is: You married this man, or you married this woman. Don’t you want to give them that time to be able to speak with you? Isn’t that one of the most important things that you can give that person? To have time, rather than get angry and have to say things really quickly?”
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