My husband and I just celebrated our 41st wedding anniversary this month (March). We’re beyond the big 4-0!
We love each other and have a great marriage together, but honestly, we are still on this journey of learning positive communication daily. What I’ve learnt is that it is far too easy to allow unresolved hurt feelings and misunderstandings to set us off on cycles of negativity which can lead to resentments and emotional withdrawal.
This has often been the result of poor communication when one of us says or sends a message and the other hears something else. Much of this is related to mine and his individual expectations and assumptions of the other.
Really, positive communication is intentional communication. It involves my decision to respond rather than react to my husband. But what’s more important than this is that we have found that our attitude towards each other counts for so much too. Sometimes learning to ‘shut up’ at the right time has been the best thing to do in the moment. Working on emotional connection, learning to show care, love and respect for each other has been the basis of great positive communication.
It is and continues to be an exciting (but also challenging!) journey of making our marriage about “We” rather than “Me”.
Tan Ah Eng is Focus on the Family Malaysia’s resident counsellor. Her favourite things to do are reading and spending time with family and friends. She says the best thing about her husband is that he’s the complete opposite of her—organised and calm J Opposites really do attract. And lasts beyond 40 years!
This article was published with permission from Focus on the Family Malaysia. For more information, please contact:
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