IT'S GOOD TO TALK: Communication is at the heart of many marriage issues
SO, YOU are getting married. Wonderful. Love may be blind, but marriage sure will reveal its lucidity.
A habit is defined as a recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behaviour that is acquired through frequent repetition. Let me say that once more – frequent repetition.
If you have issues, discuss them. Just because one or the other rolls their eyes does not constitute means for silence. Talk. Even when you hate each other, talk.
Some habits are minor, as annoying or gross as they may seem. For instance, nail-biting, and nose-picking is gross, but not serious. Knuckle-cracking is annoying and bad for you, but it is still deemed more of a minor issue but other habits can be more concerning than irritating. So, what are some of these traits, you ask?
Also, if you are the one with the bad habit, here are some tips about what you can do so they don’t derail your relationship:
1. Saying “yes” all the time is a bad habit. This is something you will need to learn, and this is more common amongst women than men. However, there are male people-pleasers as well. If you don’t have the guts to say no, you can always say, “Let me think about it and I will tell you later”. You can also commit to make a lesser promise than was asked of you.
2. Holding grudges. Feelings of resentment benefit no one. You must let go. If your partner keeps a chip on their shoulder, it will only widen the communication gap.
3. If you are hiding a smoking, binge-drinking, drug-addiction platter of issues, get help. Don’t get married, have babies and try to hide this from your partner. Get real with yourself and make the change.
4. Borrowing money. If you have a habit of borrowing money from people, this is something that your partner should know. Speak out if you are in serious debt and have a habit of
5. Procrastination. As a side note, I will say that procrastination is ridiculous. It takes action before motivation. Just do it. Once you start something, it is usually not that bad and you know it. So get to action. Work first, play later and you will reap the sweet rewards.
6. Overeating. This is another big, bad habit. Let’s get serious about getting your weight under control. If you have unresolved issues, then get help. What is stopping you? You and I both know that your body was not designed to be overweight. It’s unnatural.
7. Gambling. I once met a man who was resentful – even as an adult – that his mother had gambled all their money and lost the house. I think that is enough said.
8. Compulsive shopping. Try to be honest with each other. If you want more money and want to shop more, then get another job. Don’t rob the family of any quality of life for your own addictions. It’s just not right.
9. Pornography and other sexual addictions. It’s your choice – do you want to make love to your partner or a fantasy? Whatever your choice may be, it is not fair to one person to be ignored and harbour thoughts of insecurity and humiliation on account of your selfish pleasure. This is a discussion waiting to happen if a person is struggling with this.
Now, if your partner needs a little help, here are some tips for you:
1. Do not nag them. Nagging someone makes them defensive. Your partner will feel personally attacked.
2. Share your feelings, but stick to the initial issue. Don’t get sidetracked with what happened last week.
3. Set a good example yourself. Sometimes, being a good example will have a greater effect than all the words in the world.
4. Avoid using “you” messages. “You” messages put people down – saying, “You never show up on time” or, “You always do this, or that”. When you talk to others in this manner, it shuts down communication.
5. Instead of using "you" messages, turn it around. Say something like, “I feel anxious when you are late, because I worry that you are abandoning me or that you are hurt somewhere”. Fill in the blanks for different situations. You will get a much better response than saying, “You are always late”.
6. Assert yourself and then keep quiet. Listen to the other person. Be a support, not an enemy. Repeating yourself over and over will lead to insanity. Let it go. If you can’t live with it, then go. But the issue needs to go somewhere. It won’t just go away.
7. Avoid codependency. Having your own interests means you don’t stifle each other.
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