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7 Truths About Marriage That I Need My Daughter Know

7 Truths About Marriage That I Need My Daughter Know

Transitioning to being a wife equates to drastic changes in a woman’s life. Moving from life as a single to married status involves so many changes that most women wouldn’t know about until they are literally thrown to the wolves, so to speak.

When you are still single and dating, there are things that you can choose not to deal with as a couple because you are, for all intents and purposes, separate entities. When you get married, this changes and under the law you are essentially one entity. Whatever you both individually have is now collectively owned by the two of you. You may share a name and everyone recognizes you as representative of each other.

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This is not always rainbows and butterflies, as many married women will tell you. Marriage is hard work, and there are certain truths I would want my daughter to know before she gets married.

1. Silent treatment solves nothing.

As a married person, you have to drop phrases like “silent treatment” from your vocabulary. Communicate with your partner and always discuss the things that bother you. Often, we tend to let things fester and become bigger problems than they really are. So, if something bothers you, talk about it before it tears you apart. Silent treatment confuses your partner because they want to make things right but they may not even know what they did wrong. So, talk.

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2. Not everyone can be a stepmother.

Going into a marriage, we are often starry-eyed. We think we can handle anything the world throws at us. A word of caution: before you enter into a serious relationship with a person who already has children with a previous partner, truly think about whether you are prepared to be a stepmother and deal with all the complexities that come with the title. The relationship dynamics between a stepmother and child are often difficult. Also, a tense dynamic between your partner and the other parent can put a strain on your relationship.

3. There is no “my” in marriage.

As a single woman, you enjoy your independence and your freedom to use your money as you please. In a marriage, it is not “my money” anymore — it’s now “our money.” Financial issues are the leading cause of fights in a marriage. You have to learn to manage your finances as a couple and be responsible for your financial health as a couple. On the other hand, it’s not unheard of to have an emergency fund that is yours alone. It may sound like a breach of trust, but you never know what the future will bring.

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4. Your partner is not a work in progress.

Many women often confuse what needs to be worked on in a marriage. Once you have married someone, you have accepted them fully as your partner. Any projects or plans you had to change them should be thrown out fast. As a married woman, you should focus on making your marriage better. You shouldn’t expect someone to change for you. There are many compromises a woman can live with for the sake of a good marriage. This does not mean that you have to compromise on your values. It just means that you can choose to see the glass as half empty or half full.

5. Marriage is between two people.

I cannot stress this enough. You and your partner make up your marriage, not your family and friends. Many women tend to share things about their marriage with people that they shouldn’t. Once you are married, you need to learn to keep the details of your marriage private. Family and friends always mean well, but they are also biased in their love for you and will often give you advice that could be misleading. If it concerns your marriage, talk it out with your spouse. If it still seems like it’s too much to handle, seek professional help.

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6. Children are great, but they should not be the sole focus of your marriage.

The first few years of a marriage are strained. Not only do you have to deal with the newness of the marriage itself, but many couples often have children soon after the wedding. I have met many women who love their children, but they wish they could have waited to share wedded bliss for a bit longer before having children. I would tell my daughter to wait. Just give it a few years to iron out the wrinkles in the new marriage and set a strong foundation. Then, start building your family when you are both content in your roles within the marriage and are ready to add to the fold.

7. Winning all the arguments doesn’t make you right.

You have to learn to pick your battles. I have seen women tear their partners down just to prove a point, without realizing that they have caused irreparable damage to the marriage. Nobody likes to argue all the time and no one wants to constantly be in the wrong. There are arguments that are certainly worth having, but there are others that you should just let go.

Marriage is a beautiful thing, but it can turn ugly very fast. The one thing a couple has in common is their love for each other. You can fight and disagree on many things while still maintaining your love for each other. Mutual respect and trust are the glue in any marriage. You choose to treat your spouse respectfully for the sake of your marriage, voicing your opinions but also respecting theirs. You also choose to trust each other and the process everyday. I would urge my daughter to remember these truths.

Featured photo credit: Boating by gagilas via lh3.ggpht.com

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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