A man and a woman fall in love, get married and settle down in domesticity. They start their journey for a long and happy life together when in the middle of the road, they both realize that their partner is not behaving as they had expected. There are differences of opinion, attitude, habits and what not. This leads to a major communication gap and many couples, unable to come out of it, take this as a sign of incompatibility and decide to find their own separate ways. Yet, many mature and sensible couples take this as an opportunity to analyze the situation, find a solution and start the journey afresh.
There might be rarely any couple which hasn’t faced marital issues or discord even once in their lives. With today’s complex lifestyles which demand huge amounts of energy and dedication from both the partners, it becomes very difficult to maintain that regular communication. It then becomes extremely necessary to identify the major barriers to a healthy communication and get rid of them. Below are some of the factors which every couple should keep a close watch on:
Busy lifestyles less time:
The standard of living and the average income of working couples has significantly increased since the beginning of 21st century. Yet, it has demanded a valuable aspect of people’s lives – their time. The average working time which was around 7 hours in the late eighties and early nineties has now suddenly increased to 9 hours. With the advent of IT culture, people are spending more time in their offices and also working in shifts. Add to it the commute time from office to home and back, on an average people are spending almost twelve hours of their day outside their homes. From the remaining time, even if seven hours are spent for sleeping, there is hardly any time left to have a healthy communication.
Household chores and responsibilities:
Every family has a minimal predefined list of household responsibilities which have to be completed. It consists of routine work like cleaning, maintenance of house, grocery shopping, cooking, responsibilities towards the ageing parents and young children, etc. Almost all of these responsibilities and chores are mandatory and unavoidable. With the increase in the time spent for work, people find it difficult to take out time for these chores which further results in less time for communication.
People today work sitting in front of their computers for almost eight hours a day. They find no time for exercise and physical work. This leads to weight gain and all the health issues related to the sedentary lifestyle. Plus, work stress is another major health issue faced by people. All this leads to negative body image and reduced self-confidence. People more often prefer to go into a self-imposed emotional shell and stop communicating as they fear criticism and negative feedback. This closes the door to healthy communication.
According to a recent survey by the world health organization, 45 percent of Indian working population suffer from work related stress which has an extremely adverse effect on their health. Stress has a cruel way of affecting the well-being of an individual which results in anxiety, mood swings and may lead to depression as well. This becomes a major barrier in communication and increases the emotional gap between partners.
It might happen that when one partner is willing to communicate, the other is not receptive to it due to stress, work pressure or some other commitments. This leads to resentment and the partner then might not feel comfortable the next time when there is a genuine need for communication. The way in which communication is initiated is also very important as every individual has a unique way of absorbing and interpreting signs of communication. Where some people prefer verbal expression of their feelings, some do it through signs and gestures.
Ego might be considered as the biggest barrier to communication in today’s age. Where both the partners are working and have their individual identities, the tolerance level has decreased to a huge extent. People are extremely unwilling to let go of their stand/attitude and be flexible. Empathy takes a back seat at such occasions and partners lose the emotional connect. Communication is the biggest loss.
Anecdotes of wisdom:
Every relationship is unique and each couple develops a unique process of communication. In case due to reasons mentioned above, if there has been a break in communication, couples should maturely accept the condition, accept their flaws and take proper professional help from a trusted source to deal with the situation. Healthy communication by all means is the best way to a healthy and long lasting relationship. And the earlier people understand this, the better