Dealing with communication issues in marriage
If you think you've found someone you'll love forevermore,
Then it's worth the price you'll have to pay.
To have, to hold's important when forever is the phrase
That means the love you've found is going to stay.
Love can make you happy if you find someone who cares
To give a life time to you and who has a love to share.
- Mercy - Love (Can Make You Happy)
Your husband/wife is just wonderful. They go above and beyond the call of duty as a partner in the union. There is just one drawback - they will not in the foreseeable future be getting one of those high-paying jobs because of their low level of education.
You also have to deal with the secret guilt that as great as your partner is you are secretly ashamed of the relationship, especially when you come in contact with some of those 'power couples' who seem to have it all - brains and good careers.
Is this kind of relationship doomed to fail? How can it beat the odds?
Family and Religion reached out to pastor, Darren McKoy, national youth director of Church of God in Jamaica, who said the key to keeping unions alive is being totally honest.
"Never try to pretend with the other party and paint a false image that is not really there. You must first identify that a problem does exist and that this problem can actually affect the relationship. When they would have established that, then this fire would burn a lot easier," he said.
He said the partner will be smart enough to know that you are not being real if you try to fake things, which can down the flame of love.
"So, don't fake it. Let the other party know that your love for them goes deeper than their education. Don't just tell them, show them as well. Be who you are with them and never treat them any less. The minute you begin to do that, is the minute you start putting out the flame," he said.
One partner being more education is not a barrier to good communication as McKoy points out that effective communication really speaks to each party being able to appropriately articulate information and being able to respond in a way that not only can be understood, but can also benefit the couple.
"On that basis, yes, effective communication can take place. However, in order for that to happen, the one who is literate has to know their partner well enough to communicate in a way their partner can understand. Don't use words, phrases or jargons that will be too much for them to handle. If you are going to do that, put it another way so that they can get the picture. Effective communication has more to deal with how you put the information across rather than what exactly is said," said McKoy.
For partners who feel a sense of shame about their spouse's lack of education, McKoy said it is enough reason to question how much they really love the person to begin with.
"It would be normal for you to not want to associate with someone who is way below you educationally in public, but not when it's the person you vow to love for better or worse. If you are ashamed of him or her in public, then you ought to be ashamed of him or her in private," he said.
Every outing in public with your partner is a statement to the world that that person is the love of your life, said McKoy. If you are no willing to make this statement, said McKoy, maybe you should not be married in the first place.
"Maybe you only like the idea of the person being with you but you don't truly love the person. So, the truth is, it's either you deal with it, or you don't. It's that simple," he said.
For couples already in this situation McKoy said they should ensure they spend quality time. Spending time with each other is getting to know more about how the person thinks, and how they respond in certain situations.
"Also, the party who is illiterate must not be afraid to ask for help. Too often we find people who, for example, may be unable to read and is afraid to even ask their spouse for assistance. The literate one must never say or do anything that may give the partner reasons not to trust them with this delicate situation. Many times, it's not that they don't want the help, but sometimes their partners make themselves unapproachable," said McKoy.
He said the educated partner must always be a source of encouragement to their partner, even when no one else will.
"Situations like these can get very depressing sometimes, especially if the partner who is illiterate is the man. It can be frustrating for him and so he will need all the encouragement he can get from his wife," he said.