Faulty listening and rash speaking can affect marriages
At time’s people who are married feel very unhappy with each other. And this has even resulted in marriage problems and even divorce as the last resort. I’m not talking about adultery or illegitimate affairs which causes such things. It’s something that’s seems even more basic; listening and speaking to each other.
Yet after hearing and speaking up their wedding promises to each other, certain couples forget the very same skills. I mean they don’t lose their senses. They still can go to work, ride a vehicle, chat with friends and attend church too. The only difference is that they become strangers, rude strangers to each other. Such an afflicted wife would say, ‘this is not the same man I married’. And any such husband would say, ‘she’s someone else now’.
Ugly words can easily lead to an ugly marriage and God forbid even an ugliest divorce in the making. And in the court of law, the judge, jury and executioner’s of civil law are very known to extract retribution pound for pound. If abuse is proven, the divorce becomes painful and the outcome very much pathetic.
So how does one get correct on the speaking front? It does require a lot of effort and will power. This involves a thing that usually precedes speaking, which is called as ‘listening’.
If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame. (Proverbs 18:13)
Most people do not listen with the intent to understand. Most people listen with the intent to reply. – Stephen R. Covey
Listening to the spouse
For any good relationship between the husband and wife it’s vital that they communicate with each other. It’s not about only telling one’s views to the other person. A two way communication is needed. By this I mean the speaker must be fine with being spoken to. Obviously this includes hearing the spouse and actively trying to understand what’s being spoken instead of blindly nodding the head.
It’s vain, to pretend to hear the spouse for the sake of it, because you may later find yourself in an uneasy spot. Let me make it real to you, a woman tells her husband about her dear friend losing her favorite bag in the state of Ontario, Canada. Plus its the very same bag the wife had gifted to that friend. Now the husband was pretending to hear but was not paying attention to her words. Suddenly if the wife asks him, ‘what do you think about this incident in Ontario?’ to which he replies, ‘O they always do that in Canada. Hey wait is that some place in Brazil?, I mean Ontario sounds like Rio de Janeiro?’. The wife gets upset and asks him if he even cares about the things she buy’s. To which he says, ‘what thing?’ Clearly, the wife now realizes that the husband has no clue what she’s been talking about all that while. If his wife’s in a bad mood, it may result in a huge argument but the husband will still be wondering what went wrong. Eventually the wife by the time she’s calmed down, will again narrate how her friend ended losing the very bag she gifted her, while in Ontario, Canada. Then the husband will respond with either a sorry or will continue the fight depending on his temperament.
Another example, a man tells his wife that he walked all the way up from the bottom to the 17th floor of his work office along with his colleague named Pete. And that was due to some weird fitness challenge that’s being run in their office. Now the man’s been loud and clear. But the wife asks him a few questions, ‘who went up with you?’ and her husband says its was Pete. Then she asks him why did they both go up and he says its due to the company fitness challenge. Now here’s what becomes extremely stupid, she then asks him what did the company ask him to do as part of the fitness challenge. The husband gets annoyed and tells her that wasn’t she told very much clearly that he had to walk up to the 17th floor. Now that wife is not willing to admit she was not hearing him right. She responds saying that she was not told that he walked 17th floors. By now the husband’s very angry and says ‘What? Why did you then ask about who went up with me?’ Again depending on the temperament of the couple this could drag into a series of arguments for weeks. Basically, the husband only a wanted to show how tough a task he got for fitness. His wife got it all wrong only because of not listening well enough. (The 17th floor challenge, I hope is only an example of a challenge. I don’t recommend anyone to try that.)
By both these examples you’ll realize that hearing and listening are different. Hearing is physical. While listening is physical, mental, intellectual and emotional.
Then Jesus said, “Anyone who has ears to hear should listen!” (Mark 4:9)
Even Jesus had to face people who heard him preach the Gospel but then never bothered to truly listen to what he spoke. Knowing this Jesus would say, “Anyone who has ears to hear should listen!”
If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination. (Proverbs 28:9)
Some people are even more extreme. Leave the bit about listening, they don’t even want to hear the spouse. All they want is to talk. What happens if such a person has the same attitude towards the Word of God. Obviously, then even their prayers to God would be profane.
Putting that in a couple’s relationship, if one only wants to talk but not listen, then such person has acted worse than an unbeliever. The spouse who is not allowed to speak is often filled with fear and hate towards their spouse. Don’t be surprised if you hear of rebellion in such a case. I categorically don’t recommend divorce nor rebellion in such cases. Though one’s got a valid right to indeed get things sorted, it must be done by dialogue between the couple or a discussion with skilled mediators from the couple’s family or their local church. Never seek vain romantic solace with another person just because one’s spouse is an irritant. Hell awaits adulterers to torment them! I’m not saying this to make anyone feel bad but I don’t want people to seek vain happiness out of marriage and have a nasty afterlife in hell.
For those who think, let’s suffer later but now enjoy with an illegal companion for romance, let me share a few things. There’s no guarantee that such foolish actions will make you truly happy. You never know what plans are in the minds of such illegal ‘lovers’. They might be after money. Some are only for lustful motives and will dump immediately. Other’s are carry tales and manipulators. Better to be away from two faced people.
So what’s my advice. Its very simple; listen sincerely well so that you can speak to bless and encourage your spouse.
Christ be with you!