Communication Between Couples
Communication takes place even when couples do not open their mouths to speak. Actually couples can communicate loudly in silence, more than they ever could with words.
Imagine the following scenario: You are on your way home from work. As you are about to cross the road, someone hits you from behind and steals your bag. You are shaken to the core and angry that they stole your money and valuables. All you want is to get home and be with your spouse. You want to narrate what happened and receive some consolation. However, on getting home and narrating the terrible happenings, your spouse keeps quiet and continues to watch TV like nothing happened.
Your partner is definitely communicating by their response. You could interpret their response to mean that they value what they were doing more than you. It could also mean they really don’t care about what happened to you. It could also pass the message that they are angry at you and therefore don’t care how you feel and so on. It is clear that their silence is as loud as any shout.
Communication entails so much more than mere talk. Communication includes body language, facial expressions and attitudes, and many more messages are passed through the same.
For there to be effective communication in a marriage, couples must pay close attention to what their partner is telling them through nonverbal communication. This includes their attitudes, gestures, facial expressions, actions, moods and body movements.
SOME SIGNS OF NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION
- BODY LANGUAGE
Your partner’s body language can reveal a lot. Be keen to note how your partner’s body reacts when talking with them and when asking questions. Are they tense or are they relaxed? It is assumed that a person who truthful has nothing to hide will be relaxed. Do they maintain eye contact with you or the look away as you talk? It is said that a person who avoids eye contact with you may be hiding their thoughts.
You can glean similar information by observing the way your partner’s body reacts when you ask them a question. Is their body position relaxed and open, or tense and withdrawn?
- USE OF GESTURES
Gestures are modes of communication. It is possible to tell what a person is thinking by their gestures. The flip side of this is that a couple may interpret the same gesture differently.
For example, a wife may call her husband twice or thrice a day just because she misses his company and wants to know how he is fairing and what time she can expect him back. On the other hand, the husband can interpret his wife’s gesture very differently. He may feel that his wife is insecure and trying to check him up to know what he is up to.
Couples can easily misinterpret the meaning of certain gestures. To avoid this, they should ask their partners to explain their nonverbal communication if they are not sure what it may mean.
- MOOD AND ATTITUDE
When your enthusiastic partner is no longer their usual self, something is going on even if they have not verbalized it.
Such a change can be an indicator that there are things going on in their life that they may not wish to discuss at that time. You may still want to say something like, “Darling, I have noticed you haven’t been your usual self of late.” If she does not discuss these changes with you, make a note of these shifts in behavior. Remain watchful of what happens in the days and weeks to come.
If in the middle of a conversation your partner is anxious and nervous, it could be a sign that something is troubling them and they are not speaking it out. Over talking or over silence could also be a sign of nervousness and an indicator that something isn’t right.
It is however not a wise thing to draw a conclusion from one sign of nonverbal communication. Couples should incorporate each non-verbal clue into the total picture of what their spouse is communicating.
Always remember that communication is a two-way street, and especially so in marriage. It is therefore important to monitor your own tone of voice, attitudes, and other nonverbal behaviors with the same sharp eye you use to observe your spouse.