For relationships to work, communication is key. Most couples become distant in their relationships when they fail to express their thoughts and emotions in a healthy way.
Communication in marriages means listening to what a spouse has to say and being able to share their thoughts and feelings openly, says Gorriet Bisangwa, a marriage counselor.
“It’s not necessary that you agree with each other on all opinions, but you have to listen and give each other a chance to express themselves,” Bisangwa says.
“Many partners that have broken up or are having unstable marriages come for counseling saying, ‘he should have known...’ or ‘she should have realised’,” Bisangwa explains, adding, “…and the question I always ask them is how should they have realised if you didn’t tell them?”
According to the marriage counselor, the luck of communication has always been the cause of misunderstanding and quarrels in marriages.
For people such as Viva Musiime who has maintained her relationship with her boyfriend of four years, trust and discipline is key. She says the essential quality for good communication is the ability to listen and respond appropriately.
“When you misunderstand a statement, always ask before responding in a rush—a clear sign of poor listening. This only leads to quarrels and misunderstandings and the loss of trust—factors that strain relationships,” Musiime says.
John Benjamin Mugisha has been married for over six years and so far he says, he has discovered a mechanism to listen.
“Couples should listen to their partners without interrupting or planning a defense for about 10 minutes,” Mugisha says. “It’s amazing how much you can learn your partner and when your turn comes up, it’s much easier to speak because your partner is just listening as well.”
As the Chazon Ish, a great Jewish scholar wrote, “Treat your wife as a left hand protecting the right one and not an independent limb. If we accept this attitude we will recognise that spending time and energy to improve communication is the way to achieve a true marital bond.”