To Speak Your Mind

December 21, 2007

…Or not.

Newly weds commonly face this problem. There’s generally two approaches:

1. Speak your mind. Whatever you wish. Be open on the issue. Let it be heard. The logic behind this is that there is 100% transparency and you’re never in a state where you’re wondering what your spouse is thinking. You know what s/he’s thinking, and s/he most certainly knows what you’re thinking. Straight up, head to head. Mind to mind. Let it out, let him/her hear it. Best to confront these issues now rather than later, and not tip-toe around each other, brushing these issues under the carpet whenever they’re about to bud.

2. To remain quiet about delicate issues. Keep it inside. Be patient. It may offend the other party, or maybe the other party won’t like it to be spoken about. When these issues do crop up, change topic and just act like everything is cool and things will be dandy. You haven’t spoken your mind out of fear of your relationship with your spouse. You don’t want anything jeopardising it. You’d rather not take the chance. There are awkwardish times when there may appear to be some tension, but that passes by without either of you confronting it directly. But when really important issues need to be and have to be discussed, you do discuss it and take it up with your spouse.

Basically, when you fear there’ll be more harm than benefit, you don’t discuss it. But when you’re pretty sure it must be discussed and inshaAllaah there’ll be more benefit than harm, you do discuss it.

Which is the correct approach?  

In my opinion, I think that the latter is the best approach. You only mention things when there is more benefit than harm. If there is any fear that there may be more harm than benefit, then you refrain from mentioning it. Yes your spouse doesn’t wholly understand how you’re feeling though you’d like him/her to feel you, but is that a major issue in itself? Especially when it may only be related to one or two issues? No, it isn’t.

I will give an example to make things clearer:

– Wife doesn’t like husband’s sister who has passed a few comments which she didn’t like.

– Wife knows that husband is the type who is paranoid about any problems between his family and wife, and fears it greatly. The thought of his wife getting into a pickle with his family grieves him, and gets him worried and fidgety.  If hears this, he will be upset by it and his life will begin to turn upside down and may even perhaps blame the wife for being too sensitive and not being patient enough.

– Wife wants him to know so that she can share her problems with him, and so he’ll understand what she’s going through and perhaps cry on his shoulder.

– Wife weighs it out, and realises there’ll be alot more benefit for their relationship and household if she doesn’t mention it, and just keeps it to herself.

– It’s hard to keep it to herself. She reconsiders should she tell him or not. And then decides against it (again).

Typical sort of scenario, especially amongst those women living with their inlaws. Satan is always trying to create enmity and friction and so it’s a fairly common scenario. She therefore made a wise decision, though a hard one. And in this particular issue, she sacrificed his presence in it for the peace and stability of their relationship. Good move. I like. I commend. But can requires great resolution and strength for some.

And therefore, always speaking your mind and relaying your feelings and emotions can bring about more harm than benefit. It’s easy to create a fire, especially with Satan around to add wood to it. Sometimes it’s good not to speak your mind. And keep things to yourself. Frequently, it won’t be your mind anyway; it’ll be Satan’s or even hormones. Your thoughts may be accompanied with cramps in your stomach too. And this is when transparency isn’t always a good thing. Think before you open your mouth. It’s very easy to hurt when hearts are involved, especially when it’s a man making the comment.

Having said that however,

Transparency is a GREAT thing. And one should be careful not to be totally veiled. Transparency is needed, but in context and at the correct times. Issues should be confronted directly, most issues, other than those that can cause more harm than good. Can be a difficult thing to judge.

There is not strict rule on what issues should be discussed directly, and which shouldn’t. It all comes down to circumstances, and the nature of your spouse. You will make mistakes at the beginning when you don’t know your partner well enough, and be sure s/he will make plenty too, even if s/he follows the latter methodology like ghospel! Expect it; it’s a longe learning process. It takes time. Transparency at the right levels is needed to catalyse that learning process.

Tricky and tough it can prove to be indeed, and that’s where etiquette, intelligence and understanding are required.

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4 Responses to “To Speak Your Mind”

  1. ..Moi.. said

    did u get married?

  2. thesussist said

    Nope, I did not

  3. AbuU said

    yo my man, u need to chill-ax bro

  4. * said

    Sensible stuff. Admittedly, I would still opt for the first approach..actually, maybe not on everything…Like you said, a balance is necessary. With that in mind, expressing emotions has the added benefit of error correction whereas bottling it up and feeling like a martyr and saint, oblivious that your stance – and not the sister in law’s- is wrong isn’t always the best thing for personal development.

    In a good relationship the other would probably guess there was something the matter,hopefully. Tension unaddressed always boils over.It would have been good if you gave an example of where the male holds his tongue and exerts patience.

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