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What Most People Don’t Know Before Getting Married

What Most People Don’t Know Before Getting Married

My husband and I have been married for 10 years. Here are some of the things I’ve learned over the past decade.

Marriage is not two people giving 50/50

Marriage is about two people each giving 100%. When you start keeping track of “all the things you do all the time” and expecting tasks to be 50/50, you can easily start resenting your spouse. Focusing on what your spouse doesn’t contribute to the marriage and how your spouse isn’t being fair can increase your discontentment. Rather than continually keeping tabs of who last emptied the trash can, it can be helpful to focus on making your spouse feel special. Whether it’s a sweet note posted on the bathroom mirror, a little gift “just because,” or a unique surprise date you plan at a thoughtful location, putting in 100% effort in the marriage can strengthen your marriage.

Traumatic events, illnesses, and grief have the potential to bring you closer together or drive you very far apart

Very difficult things can happen in life, and some couples seem to be slammed with one heartache after another. Everyone deals with stress and grief differently. As you endure extreme hardships together, do your best to keep communication open with your spouse. If you’re feeling all out of sorts, explain why to your spouse. Remember that you are two unique individuals, and when stressful events happen, you may process them very differently.

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Our marriage has endured some devastating events, and we haven’t always been the best at sticking together through the hard times. As your marriage weathers the storms, make sure to furiously protect it. At times it may feel like everything in the world is threatening to tear you apart.

Years into the marriage, you’ll still have days you wonder what planet your spouse came from

My husband and I have been married for years, and there are still days I feel like I don’t understand him at all. I don’t even know what else to say about this.

People show love in completely different ways

One of the best books my husband and I have read is “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. After decades as a marriage counselor, Chapman became convinced that there are five basic ways to express love emotionally, which he calls the five basic love languages. According to Chapman, each person has a primary love language that we must learn to speak in order for the person to feel loved. The five love languages are: Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Receiving Gifts, Physical Touch, and Acts of Service.

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The Five Love Languages book has changed my marriage immensely, and has helped me understand how to show love to my spouse. I’m very much a Quality Time person. My husband, on the other hand, needs Words of Affirmation and Acts of Service to feel loved. Knowing these differences between us has been eye-opening and has helped strengthen our marriage.

It’s not all unicorns and rainbows

Dating is fun. Everything is new and exciting, and you both put effort into how you look and how you act. Then you get married and you realize you married a human. Who poops. And drools. You won’t be enticed by this person every day. In fact, you’ll be completely grossed out at times.

When you get lost in the daily grind of life, it’s easy to fall into the habit of giving each other the “leftovers” of yourselves, and having your spouse see only your worst sides – when you are physically and emotionally spent. It’s wise to continue to invest in each other after marriage. Invest time and energy into your relationship. Put in effort to make each other feel special. Make sure your spouse gets more from you than venting about your day. Even though not every day is unicorns and rainbows, make a point to regularly share the best parts of yourself with your spouse.

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Laughter fixes many problems

Having a good sense of humor can significantly help your marriage. When you can laugh together, it makes the good times even better, and the rough times a little less difficult.

Giving each other space to spend time with friends and pursue individual goals can greatly enhance your happiness

Many people lose sight of who they are as individuals once they become married. However, I believe it’s very healthy to continue to have interests outside of your spouse. Whether it’s a professional or personal goal, or a hobby you love, nurturing other areas of your life aside from your relationship can help you feel more fulfilled in life. Your spouse won’t (and shouldn’t be expected to) fulfill all your needs. Taking time to connect with friends is also very important.

Your love may grow stronger with each passing year

Marriage isn’t easy, and at times can be incredibly difficult. However, it can also be awesome. Best wishes to you for a long, healthy, happy marriage.

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Featured photo credit: Joe Hunt/Here comes the bride…(and groom) via flickr.com

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Dr. Kerry Petsinger

Entrepreneur, Mindset & Performance Coach, & Doctor of Physical Therapy

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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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