All relationships have problems and disagreements. Lack of communication can be the start of a couple’s problems or the other way round. Many couples tend to think that things will be rosy and they are going to live happily ever after, well this is not always the case. Disagreements on wide range of issues occur and the best tool to deal with them is through communication. Things can really go downhill if the couple is not in good terms and cannot work out their problems through communication. This will serve to make the situation more difficult for themselves and for their children.
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One of the reasons that contribute to poor communication among couples is stubbornness or the unwillingness of couples to exchange their ideas on the topic at hand. Some completely refuse to communicate while others stick to their side of the argument and refuse to accept to accept or consider the viewpoint of the other spouse. This inhibits intimacy and makes the couple’s fighting more intense. Another reason for strained relationships is failure of couples to admit their fault. Some people are not used to the idea of admitting that they have done something wrong and apologizing for it or seeking an answer to the problem. They instead start blaming others for their own mistakes. This makes the other spouse to walk away from arguments or avoid them altogether. Another thing that really puts partners down is comparison. Phrases like, “you are no different from your mother”, mostly bring the conversation to an end. Such a gross generalization is usually not welcomed well and may lead to a long agonizing argument over nothing (Leach, p. 41).
Bringing up issues from the past especially those considered to be negative can really affect the other partner’s self esteem. Pointing out on past mistakes makes the other partner realize that he/she has not forgiven him/her. Communication can also become really hard when one spouse spends all the time attacking the other. The actual topic that started the argument is lost and forgotten along the way. Instead of attacking the problem at hand couples hurl attacks at each other making the solution finding process extremely hard. Some partners make exaggerated remarks repeatedly concerning their spouses. When one partner gives an exaggerated accusation, the other defends himself/herself. The accuser then doesn’t feel so well for being called a liar so he/she makes yet another accusation. Then the other partner comes into his/her own defense and the accusations and counter accusations continue (Smith, p. 102).
Temper and explosive anger can hurt the communication patterns really hard. It gets really hard to work things out if the angered one adds other issues to the current one. Lying and deception are major factors contributing to strained communication between partners. This gets worse when the other partner realizes that his/her mate is lying. This eventually erodes trust between partners and also makes the lying partner act defensively. Another form of lying is lack of complete honesty to the other partner. Spouses on many occasions only tell half the story or give scanty details on matters that their partners should be well aware of. Partners may lie on a wide range of issues such as money, business, and events attended, work related issues and so on. It is very disheartening to for a partner to learn something about his/her partner from a friend. Spouses lie mainly to conceal their failures or their bad mistakes. When lying takes place, the consequences in most instances are the complete breakdown in communication.
Stress can be a major cause of sexual problems to couples because it may result to lack of sexual desire to partners. Sometimes it becomes hard to ignore the struggles of life and at such times the sex issue rarely comes up. Traumatic experiences related to sex or something else also contribute to sex problems in a relationship too (Ross, p. 21). Partners thus find it hard to enjoy being close to their partners. Constant fighting is also another hindrance to good sex relationship especially on women. A couple needs to have good attitudes so as to have mutually enjoyable sex but if they are constantly fighting, they may not even be able to even start. Another factor straining good sexual relationship is communication breakdown. Sometimes the situation is really bad for partners that they do not even talk to each other. It is impossible to have sex under these conditions. This automatically means that the couple cannot have sex. Even if they eventually talk to each other, sex will be the last topic to be discussed (Rowe, p. 53).
Problems within a relationship always find a way to get to children who are most of the time innocent and usually have nothing to do with the conflict. Some parents try to shield their children from knowing about their fights but these efforts are rarely successful. Children eventually find out and the outcome is not so pleasant. Their academic performance may be negatively affected to start with. Children may spend most of their time focusing on their parents’ fights and spend less and less time with their studies. (Smith) The fights or communication breakdown between partners can also lead to low self esteem to the children. They have little or no pride of their family and little courage to face friends and other people. Some may also feel that they are responsible for their parent’s problems which are a huge burden for a child to carry. If the parents’ problems persist for a long time, some children tend to use drugs and alcohol. This not only a danger to them but also intensifies their parents problems. Such problems can eventually lead to divorce. Some children deal with their parents’ problems by running away from their homes. This is especially so if the parents are fighting quite often and perhaps involving other people such as neighbors (Pollock, p. 16).
- Leach, Edmund. Marriage, Family, and Residence, The Natural History Press. 1968 pp. 40-41
- Pollock, Linda. Forgotten Children: Parent-child relations Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983 pp. 12-22
- Rowe L. Sexual conflict. Princeton University Press, Princeton. 2005 pp. 50-55
- Ross, Ellen. Sex and Society: A Research Note from Social History and Anthropology Comparative Studies in Society and History 2000 pp. 16-29
- Smith, Peter. “Marriage”. A concise encyclopedia Oxford: One world Publications. 2000 pp. 98-116