Have you been so angry with your spouse to the extent where you don’t speak to each other for long period of time? Well, this husband in Japan must have broken some world record because he hasn’t spoken to his wife for 20 years! And all because he was sulking over the fact that the wife’s attention wasn’t on him and on their kids, who’re all grown adults now. According to reports, Otou Katayama would only grunt and nod in response to wife Yumi’s efforts to speak to him. In desperation, their 18-year-old son seek help from a Hokkaido TV show as he has never heard his parents converse at all.
The show arranged for the pair to meet in a park where they had their first date as their children hid in a corner to listen in to their conversation. And here’s a gist of it.
“Somehow it’s been a while since we talked,” said Mr Katayama, from Nara, in southern Japan.
“You were so concerned about the kids.”
“Yumi, up until now, you have endured a lot of hardship. I want you to know I’m grateful for everything.”
“I was kind of… jealous. I was sulking about it. There’s no going back now I guess.”
Background laughter is heard when he recommends they speak again sometime.
No matter how upset or angry you are with your spouse, shouting and screaming is never the right thing to do and it definitely doesn’t help when you don’t speak to each other as well. So here are some common communication mistakes almost every married couples make and tips to help transform your relationship with each other.
#1 Never Raise Your Voice
When you feel angry, you probably start raising your voice. Anger creates tension. As tension builds, you look for a way to release or express it. Yelling at your spouse becomes a quick and easy option, although it often causes more trouble than relief. It may feel good to unleash your tension on your spouse when they upset you, but the sense of satisfaction is often short-lived. Whatever you say in your angry state is likely to add fuel to the fire and your spoken message will be diminished or even misunderstood, because you set up your partner to be defensive and frustrated rather than responsive and understanding.
What you should do: When you can keep your emotion in check, your message can really shine through. This doesn’t mean you should try to shove your emotions out of the way. They may be a very important part of your situation. But remember – the whole point of communicating is to be clearly understood. To do that, your channel of communication must go two ways. Excessive emotion interferes with that. Take a little time alone to help you ride the wave of feelings and let them settle on their own.
#2 Don’t Be Over Competitive
Maybe a little competition between the two of you at the racquetball court is OK. And perhaps you can rib each other with your basketball tournament predictions. But that’s about it. Anything that isn’t mutual and playful could build a wall between you. If you find yourself building a “case” in the back of your mind with supporting bullet points for every disagreement, you may win the argument nearly every time. However, you may do more to exhaust and demoralise your spouse than anything else.
What you should do: If you married a great person, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You don’t have to win to feel satisfied. Let go a little, they are probably far happier to be around you when you show some imperfections.
#3 Marriage is about WE not ME
Have you ever stopped to listen to the chatter going on in your mind? Most likely, it’s focused on you — what you look like, how you just messed something up, what you have on your schedule later, what you are looking forward to, etc. Naturally, this chatter is somewhat biased because it’s from your perspective. But how about the chatter that relates to your spouse? Is it all about how much fun you will have later, what you expect from your husband or wife, and what kind of mood you are in?
What you should do: Generosity and considerate behaviours can go a long way toward nurturing a great marriage. Instead of wondering if they’ll ever load the dishwasher right, do something you know your spouse will appreciate. If you continue a pattern of being more generous and thoughtful toward your spouse, they’ll eventually say or do something as a response. The more you act with generosity, the more you’ll naturally feel generous and loving toward your spouse.
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