EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION IN MARRIAGE ( 7 )
Thanks so much for your wonderful piece which I never miss every Friday. I have been having this nagging issue with my wife all these years and seem not to be able to take it anymore. She wants to control me at all times and I am not finding that funny. I don’t understand how she expects me to be running errands for her at my level and sometimes she wants us to go to the market together, which I don’t enjoy. I have tried telling her that I am not her kid brother and she shouldn’t order me around the way she used to treat her siblings, being their first born. Anytime I say that, everything breaks down and she refuses to talk to me sometimes for days and would not respond to anything. Please, what is your advice because you said a relationship breakdown is imminent the moment communication breaks down and I don’t want to lose my marriage really.
Paul Olatunji – Warri
We started by looking at why couples find it hard to communicate effectively and last two weeks we started looking at another vital reason for breakdown in communication. I defined your spouse’s love language as the language of love that your spouse speaks or the way he/she has learnt to receive ‘I love you’ and we examined the first love language that people speak, which Garry Chapman calls words of affirmation.
The case above opens up two basic problems and one of the problems will lead us to the next love language couples speak. The woman above is a first born, so I suspect a lot of pressure was placed on her while growing up by her parents, which has turned her into a control freak. It is typical for parents to expect a first child to take the lead in everything and that weight of expectation often weighs the child down and suppresses his/her originality such that he/she begins to feel the need to get everyone to do things right.
Often times, the deformation affects their communication such that they become commanding in their communication and what they say and do sound like control. So, they act like the husband in a relationship.
The second problem raised here is a love language problem and that takes me to the second language couples speak, which is:
A. Acts of Service – This is one of the toughest love languages to accept by men because it makes them feel enslaved to their women. Have you ever had to relate with a wife who wants you to run errands or a man who expects you to do things for him, including ironing his clothes? Have you ever had to relate with a lady who is most excited when you fix meals or go shopping for the family or a man who is overly excited when you research his favorite team and give him latest gist about the team?
The good news is that you are dealing with a spouse whose love language is act of service, but the sad news is that the people around you may misinterpret that signal.
Service is the way your spouse here has learnt to receive I love you, so what she hears when you run errands or wash her undies is ‘I love you’.
I remember clearly when I first got married and my wife would call me for us to go to the market together, which I never really liked, but I noticed that she would also want us to do the cooking together and that used to get me really paranoid until I learnt that it was her way of receiving love.
How would your friends feel if they visit your home and they meet you fixing a meal while your wife is seeing her favorite TV show? I am sure you may not survive what they may put you through, but I often tell men/women never to compare their spouse to someone else because no two marriages are the same. You can’t afford what others are not doing in their home to crash your marriage because your spouse is different from theirs.
So, what does your spouse complain about? Does she ask you to help with her undies; please go ahead and wash it because that is the key to filling her emotional bank account and that is the key to getting the best out of your spouse because the way we are loved can affect our entire outlook and that includes our appearance, emotional stability and even esteem.
What is your spouse’s love language?
To be continued.
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