Image by: Madalinlonut
By Shaun Cage
My wife and I are both on our late 30s. Two months from now, we will be celebrating our 5 year anniversary on one of the beautiful islands in the Caribbean.
Our first 2 years of marriage weren’t a pretty sight though. We used to quarrel about everything, even about the most non-sense of things like fixing the bed, replacing the bathroom tissue and so on and so forth.
Believe me it was very exhausting, especially when the timing was really bad. Whenever we came home from work, all I wanted was to hit the bed and rest and all she wanted was a little time for herself. The stress was overwhelming and we always ended up taking it out on each other.
There was this time when she was cleaning the house and I made the mistake of telling her how my mother used to do it. I didn’t understand why, but she got really mad and told me to just leave her alone for the day.
Another instance was when I got home early from work because I wasn’t feeling well. I knew she was supposed to go out with her friend, but I asked her to just stay home and cook for me.
She stayed, but she gave me the cold shoulder. That ticked me off and I got really sarcastic and told her that she finds her friend more important than me.
What made our fights even worse was when my mother put forth her opinions regarding any issue or compared my wife to my ex-GF. I know it was unfair for my wife, but I just couldn’t stop my mother from ranting and raving.
I felt the need to always defend myself every time she looked at me with her accusing eyes. I tried to justify my reasons, but it seemed to me that she didn’t really give a crap. Whenever she chose to stay silent, I got scared because I had no idea what was going on in her mind.
But despite all the madness, I didn’t want to assume that she was the problem. So, I talked to my best friend and he advised me to consult a marriage counselor if I was really serious about working things out.
I was hesitant at first, because I don’t want other people to mind my business. But, I am the man and I have to protect my marriage at all costs. I love my wife and have to find a solution to at least reduce the frequency and intensity of our fights.
It was the best two months of our lives! After 8 weekly sessions, we experienced great improvements in our relationship. We appreciated each other more and learned to compromise and negotiate.
It saved us from misery and most of all, it taught us to value happiness more than winning a fight.
Our words and our silence have so much power. It could either make us or ultimately, destroy us.
People often say that there is greater power in silence that in spoken words. However, this isn’t always true.
In reality, speech and silence are equally powerful. Each action could work best under a different set of circumstances.
In “Shy Entrepreneurs Can Use the Power of Silence and More to Master Negotiating,” writer Larry Alton explains how introversion could work to your advantage.
Being an introvert doesn’t mean you’re weak.
It’s just that you prefer listening than speaking or favor working alone than in teams. It’s totally normal. However, negotiating and pitching are part of the business world. In order to succeed, you need to use a different approach to have leverage over your outgoing peers.
Nuances of communication are one of the biggest hurdles in relationships.
When used inappropriately, words and silence can generate negativity. You can still be totally wrong even when you think that you have it altogether.
Writer Elysha Krupp explains what’s going on in women’s heads when you say something that they find incredibly insulting, regardless if you don’t.
Think before you speak.
How we express ourselves during unpleasant situations can be a real challenge. Bitter tears come from words left unsaid, however, there are times when words are better left unspoken.
In “How to Effectively Manage Your Anger,” writer Mark Oliver Rondobio encourages us to always consider other people’s feelings before expressing ourselves.
Being vocal is good, but only if you take time to evaluate your thoughts first.
In essence, there are many powers associated with both words and silence, but also remember that each one has a different meaning and purpose.
If used accordingly, both can be very effective in expressing our needs, struggles and emotions.
On the other hand it can also be very damaging. You can humiliate people and make someone lose their dignity with your words and silence.
Both are very good weapons, so use them with care before you destroy someone with them.
And speaking of deadly, to prevent that silent but violet internal warfare, check out this thing called Shreddies. It’s ridiculous, but it just might save your relationship in a pinch!