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The Importance of Truth in Marriage
by Greg Baker
3/30/2010 / Marriage
Because of our pride, arrogance, and selfishness, we tend to despise hearing others tell us we are wrong. Few people actually enjoy being corrected, dressed down, chewed out, or even contradicted. As a result, when your spouse brings a problem to your attention that you are central to, it usually causes an argument, explosion, or other outburst.
If you're like that, then to be honest with you, you need to grow up. No one is perfect. And there is no such thing as a perfect marriage. Your spouse will have issues with you. And when they bring these issues to you, you need the strength to hear them all the way out and to rationally discuss solutions.
Ladies, many of your husbands are so scared of telling you the truth because they know that if they do, they'll be in the doghouse. They fear your reaction and your resentment. The end result is that they build a fantasy world in their mind that they retreat to as their only recourse to the problem. Since they believe that it can't be fixed, because you won't listen, then they simply retreat, hole up, and hope the storm passes.
Men, many of your wives are scared to death of your anger. They hide the truth from you because they can't handle your explosions, or your rage. They fear telling you exactly what they feel because they fear being dismissed as ridiculous, pounced on as selfish, or ignored as unimportant. They're battered by your relentless logic, your overwhelming superiority, or your belligerent anger.
If you are married, it is essential that you find within yourself the ability to hear the truth that is spoken. You don't have to agree. You don't have to concur. You don't have to like it. You just have to be willing to hear it out. Until you can rationally sit still and listen to what the other has to say, your marriage will not grow or mature.
IDEAS AND SOLUTIONS
Be quiet and allow your spouse to say everything they intend or need to say. Again, this is not a contest of who is right and who is wrong. If your mate believes something is true, then from their perspective, it is true. You need to deal with it as such. Allow your mate the courtesy of talking it all the way through.
Take a non-threatening posture. Don't cross your arms and glare. Don't place your hands on your hips. Don't clench your fists. Don't tap your foot in impatience. Don't sigh, snort, roll your eyes, yawn, or look bored. These will just land you into trouble. Instead, sit down somewhere, relax, nod your head a lot, look intent and attentive, and focus--in other words, look your spouse in the eye while he or she is talking.
Learn to ask lots of questions. When your spouse finally winds down, instead of attacking what they have said, correcting it, pointing out the flaws in logic, making accusations, or even crying, ask lots of questions. Questions, when put right, are non-threatening and they allow you to get to the root of the real problem.
I use this method all the time. It is highly successful. Asking the right questions will allow you to isolate the misunderstanding, find out the real source of the problem, help the other person to rethink their position, and find solutions.
Have you ever played the game called 'Mind Trap'? There are certain riddles that run like this: A man is walking in the woods. He comes across a cabin with two men dead inside. What happened? There is no way, with that little bit of information, to even give an accurate guess as to what happened to these two men. However, the game allows you to ask unlimited 'yes' or 'no' questions. Asking the right questions will help you find out the solution. In this case, the solution is a plane crash. The cabin is the cockpit of a plane, and the two dead men were the pilot and co-pilot. You would never find that out without asking a series of questions.
In dealing with problems in your marriage, the right questions will help you find solutions. At this point, it is not an issue of who is right and who is wrong. Find solutions. Asking non-threatening questions is the best way to do that.
Here Are Some Typical Questions That Can Be Asked
1. "Do you feel this way all the time? Or just when..."
2. "Can you explain this part to me? I'm not sure I fully understand."
3. "Why don't you think that will work? What do you think will work?"
4. "What would you like to see changed?"
5. "Is this a recent problem or a much older problem?"
6. "Is this part of the problem..."
Every situation will demand different questions. But this might give you an idea. Doing this will prove to your spouse that you actually care about him or her and the problem. It will prove that you have interest in finding solutions, not finding fault or blame.
Give it a try, and you'll find your marriage growing stronger as a result.
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