ISLAMIC MARRIED LIFE (continued)
- Third: Communication (Effective Communication):
-- The ability to communicate and express one’s feelings, thoughts and emotions is one of the greatest gifts of Allah SWT
--- The Beneficent God. He taught the Qur'an. He created man. He taught him the mode of expression (55:1-4)
---- Communication is not only through words, but also through tones, gestures, and body language.
-- In married life, communication is one of most important elements to a successful relationship
--- Keep in mind: Communication does not always have to be serious and negative. It should not be done only when things go wrong, for then the idea of communication sets off negative bells in the mind.
Why is communication important within a marriage?
- One: We need to be understood
- Two: We need to discharge feelings
-- Expressing our emotions and frustrations can serve as a release of pressure and tension
--- Keep in mind: This will not solve the problem but will likely make us feel better
--- Also keep in mind: Not everything needs to be said
- Three: We need to affect and influence the other partner
-- If we don’t effectively communicate something which is bothering us; we can never expect the other party to fully understand our feelings
How to effectively communicate:
- One: Communicating with positive reinforcement
-- Question: If a husband spends too much time away from home; how can a wife communicate this positively without nagging or accusing?
- Two: Communicate feelings and do not pass judgments
-- When we pass a judgement we make the other side defensive. No-one likes to be attacked
Question: If a wife is too nagging, how can a husband pass this message correctly without passing judgments?
How to effectively communicate (cont.):
- Three: Communicate clearly so that no misunderstandings can take place
-- Prepare your thoughts; write them down and use notes if you have to
- Four: Find the right time and place
-- Question: What are examples of bad timing?
- Five: Effective Listening
-- One point we have to keep in mind is that “escalation to an argument” is in the hands of the person listening…
--- We have a choice of how we chose to receive the communication!
The Art of Listening:
- Real listening consists of putting aside one's own thoughts for a moment.
-- Effective listening is not to focus on one's internal responses to the speaker, but to what the speaker is trying to communicate
-- We have to listen to understand the position of the other party
-- Do not wait tensely for your turn, because this will immediately be felt by the partner
- Guidelines for effective listening:
-- Do not interrupt
-- Display signs that you are listening
-- Listen with your heart – HOW?
-- Listen without judging
-- Accept even if you do not agree.
What prevents effective communication?
- One: Refusal to acknowledge a problem
-- Problem: Most people prefer to avoid conflict; they believe that if they avoid it the problem will go away on its own
-- Solution: It is always best to acknowledge a problem in its infancy and take steps; rather than dealing with it after it has spun out of control
- Two: Fear of possible consequences
-- Problem: Honest communication of one's inner feelings may result in hurt feelings or worse consequences
-- Solution: Effective communication will lead to positive results
--- I.e. utilizing the effective communication and effective listening skills
---- Furthermore, the more a couple communicates, the more skilled they become at it. Over the years it could become a natural and integral part of their married life
What prevents effective communication? (cont.)
- Three: Anxiety about self-disclosure
-- Problem: Many people feel vulnerable when they express themselves honestly
--- So we pretend to be someone else which only adds to the problems in marriage
-- Solution: There has to be trust and faith that each spouse has the best interest of each other in mind
--- And the understanding that each spouse is not flawless
---- Therefore, when I hear my spouse open up about herself; I have to keep in mind that I myself have personal feelings of vulnerability
- One: Understanding the needs and emotions of each partner
-- Don’t judge your partner based on your own standards or emotional responses
-- The most important step to understanding the needs of the partner is to understand one’s own emotions
--- I.e. why do I react differently? What causes me to feel this way?
---- Self-awareness allows an individual to change and appreciate the needs and emotions of others
- Two: Make known your expectations
-- Sometimes people assume that others know (or should know) what is expected of them
--- Don’t drop hints; express clearly what you desire and want