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Living with a spouse who speaks harshly

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Charles Ighele

Communication is very key to any marriage, family, or relationship. How you communicate what you have to say is very important. I believe that if couples, siblings, family members, colleagues, and neighbours know how to communicate properly among themselves, there will be fewer quarrels and divorces.

Giving a harsh answer to a harshly asked question is not the right thing to do. In fact, when you do that, you are bringing yourself to the uncivilised level of that other person who spoke to you in an uncivilised manner.

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When you are spoken to in a harsh tone, don’t reply in a harsh manner. You might have heard the saying “two wrongs do not make a right.” It is water that extinguishes fire. Fire cannot extinguish the fire.

It follows then that giving a soft answer to a harshly spoken word is the most powerful weapon that should be used in replying a husband, a wife, a relative, a colleague, or any person who speaks to you in a harsh manner. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away fierce anger.”

As a husband or a yet-to-be-married man, start to learn the habit of how to reply to a wife softly whenever she speaks to you harshly. As a wife or spinster, start to learn the habit of how to reply to a husband softly whenever he speaks to you in an angry manner. Similarly, children should learn not to think that their parents hate them when they speak to them in a harsh manner. Considering the fact that my wife and I have succeeded in educating ourselves on how not to speak harshly, I think I now have enough authority on how to advise parents not to speak harshly to themselves and to their children as if they are talking to an enemy. Children should, however, know that it might not be easy for some parents to change their talking style overnight. You know it’s not so easy for a fifty-year-old to change his or her dance style overnight.

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Husbands should also know that there are periods when their wives may become short tempered and may talk to them harshly. Such can be due to pre-menstrual tension, menstrual tension, and post-menstrual tension. During this special God-created period, some women go through pains. Any other external pressure, therefore, gets them easily angry. Husbands should, therefore, study their wives to know if they have any form of extra menstrual inconveniencies and learn how to communicate with them in a softer manner during such periods. This is the time a kind man should be kinder to his wife. A kind wife should also be kinder to her husband when he loses his job or his business is not going on too well. This is not a time for a wise or kind woman to reply harshly to the harsh words of a sad husband, who has not matured to the level of being a strong man in all situations.

Many times, when some people talk or respond harshly, it may be because of their family background, past experiences, insecurity, low self-image, pride, and impatience, among others.

Whatever the case may be, we should not allow feelings to rule us. Never allow your feelings of anger, frustration, disappointment, etc., to always make you behave the way you feel. Children are those expected to be controlled by their feelings and not adults like you and I. If you don’t know how to control your feelings and you allow your feelings to make you talk anyhow, they can destroy your marriage or relationships. You can change the way you talk to people if you want. It’s a matter of choice. Tell the Holy Spirit to help you have a a-Holy-Spirit-controlled talking pattern. Let us all learn to talk like people who are civilised. Love you.

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