As October 1 draws near

MIND AND BODY with Rev. Fr. Vincent E. Arisukwu


In-communication in marriage carries with it numerous problems. It leads to crack in the marital union. Atado puts it this way, “Now what has happened to those things you did together that gave you the opportunity to talk about yourselves? What has happened to those times that you shared together? Who said you should stop?” He continued, “These are the things that grease your marriage. They are the things that revive and renew your relationship. When you stop having time to talk about yourselves, or to play together the roof and walls of your marital home begin to crack and leak” (Atado, J. C., Marriage Maintenance, P. 83). Hence in-communication leads to the following in marriage:


Misunderstanding: The first problem couples who fail to communicate in marriage encounter is that they easily misunderstand themselves. This is because the opportunity to explain the reasons for particular actions is not available for one’s partner. Every person carries his intention in his/her heart while actions are interpreted according to accumulated biases. Judgments are thus based only on empirical data lacking rational basis. The couples usually misunderstand each other in such a dangling relationship.


Lack of mutual trust: Couples who don’t communicate lack mutual trust. They often live a life of imagination. They feel cheated in their hearts since the familiarity and fondness that nurture their love union begin to diminish. One suspects the other because mutual confidence and belief in one another has been depleted. Suspicion takes over dialogue.


Misjudgment: Many marriages today have suffered as a result of false allegations. Some spouses have been wrongly projected before their partners because of lack of communication. For instance, a woman was victimized because she attended a conference in a hotel. As the conference ended, she was sighted by one of the husband’s friends as she emerged from the hotel with a male colleague. Rather than enquire into the reasons for her being there, the husband’s friend called the husband to inform him that he saw the wife in a hotel with another man. Unfortunately too, the husband never asked the wife but haboured the information in his heart and waited for an opportunity to act. This is an instance of a lot of other problems that result from lack of communication in marriage. Some have been maligned because of lack of appropriate room to explain themselves out. Some have suffered because they lacked the forum to make themselves be heard and understood. Some have opened up at such belated time that could not reverse their situation.


Drought: In-communication leads to drought in marriage. It dries up the flavour. It dries up love. When couples stop communicating, they begin to lose familiarity. When they stop sharing jokes they start becoming strangers. When they stop eating together, they stop exchanging and understanding their body languages. When they stop sleeping together, they stop predicting each other. When they stop exchanging calls and text messages, they make themselves vulnerable. It can be likened to a person who opens up an account but does not operate the account. The money remains in the person’s account but loses awareness of its owner. The term used to describe such account is “dormant”. Any marriage that is not fueled by communication simply goes dormant.


Postponement: In-communication rather than solve problems, postpones problems in the home. This is because when couples stop communicating, the saying that problem shared is half solved becomes compromised. A man, for instance, was not in talking terms with the wife. The said man had a serious business appointment that needed his waking up early enough. Since he was a heavy sleeper he needed someone to help him up from the bed. It happened that the only person in the house who usually helped everyone else to come off the bed was the wife. But the man was still basking in his pride that he didn’t want to break the silence in the home. He then took a sheet of paper and dropped a note for the wife on her pillow, “Kindly wake me up at 5am”. He signed the letter and went in to enjoy his sleep. The wife came in and saw the note which the husband dropped for her. She smiled and slept off. At 5am the following morning, the wife took her pen and paper and wrote, “Wake up, it is 5am”. She crept carefully into the husband’s room, dropped the note on his pillow and went off. Having finished her house chores in the morning, the woman dressed the kids up and took all of them out for school from where she went about her day’s business. The foolish man was only woken up by the rays of the sun that penetrated into his room. As he woke up, the first thing that graced his heavy eyes was the note from the wife. From that moment he initiated a peace talk with the wife. In-communication creates more problems in the home, or at best, postpones problems.


Tension: When we were kids, we usually felt the tension any time our parents were not in talking terms. The reason was because we would be the recipients of such lack of communication. When we needed something from dad, we usually went through our mother. At such moments, we would hear: go to your dad!  And when we courageously went to the dad, he would refer us back to mum and maintain that she would have to come to him by herself. This really made us to understand that something was brewing. Either mum would settle us or she would use the opportunity to open up talks and then such would be the opportunity to normalize issues. Whenever couples stop communicating, tension begins. Sometimes, they become aggressive not only because they are not talking but also as an expression of inner anger for reasons of conjugal love denied.


Repression: Feelings and emotions are very important aspects of personality. When they are not expressed, they accumulate to form explosives inside the individual. That is what happens when couples fail to communicate. The truth is that there are certain aspects of the husband/wife’s life that he/she would want to share only with his/her partner. At any moment he/she comes in with varying experiences at work, school or market which may form part of their fun. There are also some body languages which only the partner understands. According to Atado, “A woman talks about problems to feel better. She finds relief from stress and tension through talking about problems. When you listen to her and talk about her feelings, she feels validated and cared about. Even though the problems are still there, her stress level goes down” (Atado, J. C., Marriage Maintenance, Pg. 85). When feelings are not expressed, they become repressed. This leads  mostly wives to violence, aggression and other damages.



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