Chapter One

Submitted by Rumage on Sat, 01/07/2017 - 04:18


Marital relationship is a process of
continuous interactions, both body
and soul, between husband and wife to express their feelings and love for each other. It
is a relationship that brings joy and, at times, pain
to couples. Everybody desires happy marriage,
and many married couples work hard towards
achieving this goal. But in any human relationship
there is bound to be conflicts from time to time,
but the ability to resolve the conflicts is what
determines a successful marriage. Even as human
beings, we become sick and go to see our doctors
for treatment. So it is with marriage, but it is the
couple themselves who are their own doctors to
resolve their problems and not a third party. Many
marriages suffer from stress and conflicts as a result of breakdown in communication between
husband and wife. There must therefore be a
mechanism for a constant and healthy
communication, which can help them resolve any
issue between them to restore harmony and peace
in their homes. According to John Broakye (in his
book on guide to Marriage), “communication is the
brain of all marriages. There is no human life without
brain, so there can be no good marriage without effective
Sometimes, what causes breakdown in our daily
lives could be overload or overwork. So it is with
our relationship as husband and wife. We tend to
overload our minds, our bodies and our
environment with all sorts of things that we hardly
have time for essential things in our marriage. We
spend time thinking about our jobs and our
finances than the other person beside us in our
bed. Therefore, from time to time we need to
Dialogue: Key For Attaining Harmonious & Peaceful Marital Relationships
decongest our thoughts; get fresh air and have
time for our spouses. Nice cars, big money in the
account, big houses and expensive clothes are
good but they do not make a successful marriage.
Wise couples, who realize this, invest their money,
time and energy in their relationships. They can
do this by improving their love and commitment
for one another; have time out, create time for
effective communication between them and
support one another. All these little things that
make marriage succeed is what this book is about.
This book is therefore, designed to help married
couples to communicate more effectively using
the communication technique called “Dialogue”.
Dialogue is a special kind of discourse that enables
two or more persons or group of people, with
different perspectives and view points, to work
together to:
Objectives Of This Book
· dispel mistrust and create a climate of good
· breakthrough negative stereotypes;
· shift the focus from transaction to
relationship; create community of peaceful
· make participants more sympathetic to one
another even though when they disagree;
· prepare grounds for negotiation or decision
making on emotional –laden issues;
· expand the number of people committed to
decide on the challenging issues;
To explain dialogue, we contrast it with debate, a
more common form of discourse. Both are
essential in decision making, but they have
different purposes.
DIALOGUE is about:
· learning or negotiation;
· looking for collaborative understanding;
Dialogue: Key For Attaining Harmonious & Peaceful Marital Relationships
· finding common ground;
· listening to understand and find basis for
· Bring up your assumption for inspection
and discussion;
· di scover ing new pos s ibi l i t ies and
· winning;
· assuming there is one right answer;
· combative; attempting to prove the other
side wrong;
· Listening to find flaws and make counter
· Defending your assumptions;
· Seeking an outcome that agrees with your
· Operate in environment of master/servant
Objectives Of This Book
We believe that dialogue is a better method of
discussing and resolving issues in a marital
In business, dialogue is an indispensable tool for
negotiation between Employees and Employers
on matters affecting Employee welfare, and in
Public Sector, dialogue discovers the common
ground needed to resolve gridlock issues between
government and aggrieved communities.
So it is with marital relationship. Some issues are
gridlocked where by one spouse insists on things
being done in his or her way. In such a situation
dialogue is the only tool for resolving the issues.
The technique is however different from the way
it is applied in business and in public sector.
Husband and wife live together all the time and to
resolve their intractable differences without a
third party intervention, they have to resort to
Dialogue: Key For Attaining Harmonious & Peaceful Marital Relationships
dialogue. The technique is simple. Each spouse
puts his or her feelings on the matter in writing
and both spouses meet to consider what each of
them has written and find a common ground to
resolve the matter. Therefore, in a day to day
relationship between husband and wife, dialogue
should be used to resolve issues rather than debate
or argument, which is the common practice in
most homes. Dialogue therefore, helps couple to:
- understand each other and their feelings
- resolve distractions between husband and
wife, so that they are able to talk about their
relationship more effectively;
- resolve conflicts so that consideration and
peace are restored in their homes;
- appreciate “Couple Power” and its effects on
their every day life;
- reveal God's plan in their marriage;
- accept and respect equality between
husband and wife
Objectives Of This Book
This book is for you if:
- you are a married COUPLE and still remain
in the marriage;
- there is love in your relationship but
sometimes you wish for more; and there are
things to talk about but you do not know
how best to put them to your partner;
- there are distractions keeping you and your
spouse apart,
- conversation and love are not what they used
to be in your relationship.
- you are considering reconciling yourselves
after separation;
- you are about to get married;
- you are a marriage counsellor.
Dialogue: Key For Attaining Harmonious & Peaceful Marital Relationships
This is not only a text book, it is also a work book
and there are five steps to be adopted for reading
and using the technique. Husband and wife are to
work together to learn the dialogue technique as
Step 1 –: Read the topic in each chapter: –
Husband and wife are to read the topic in each
chapter to get the message. We strongly suggest
that couple should read the book and take it as a
little home retreat or workshop for their
relationship. Therefore, select a suitable time to
read the book, either together as a couple, or
separately, taking one chapter at a time.
Step 2 –: there are questions at the end of each
chapter. This is meant to help couple personalize
and reflect on what they have just read.
Objectives Of This Book
Step 3-: personal reflections – write your personal
reactions and responses to the questions at the end
of the chapter. We recommend that couple should
write their reflections or love letters on the blank
sheet provided at the end of each chapter, to
communicate their feelings on the questions to
their spouses.
Step 4-: Exchange of note: Husband and wife
should come together to exchange what they have
written. Read what your spouse wrote twice, the
first time to get the message, the second time to
think about the person who wrote it.
Step 5-: discuss what each partner has written, to
discover more about what is going on in each
other's head and heart and then resolve any areas
of disagreement. During this discussion, please
bear in mind that feelings are neither right nor
wrong. (More about this in chapter three).
Dialogue: Key For Attaining Harmonious & Peaceful Marital Relationships
Therefore, have an open mind in sharing feelings
with each other.
Note: This book is meant for husbands and wives.
Husband and wife should therefore decide, either
to read the book and follow the whole steps of the
exercise together, or read and answer the
questions in steps 1-3 individually at their
convenient time, and later, come together for steps
4 and 5 to exchange their notes and then dialogue
on what they have written.
The purpose of the exercise is to instil in the
readers the culture of dialoguing rather than
fighting or arguing with each other over
disagreements or any serious issues in the house.
However, we assure couples that, after going
through the whole book, the mode of relationship
between them would have changed for better. The
love for each other would have been renewed and
Objectives Of This Book
the relationship becomes friendlier, as most of the
bad feelings that were causing distractions in the
home would have been discussed and removed.
To assist you carry out the exercises, we have blank
sheets at the end of each chapter to do your
writing. Additional papers can be used if necessary.
This may be a new experience for you and there
are two things that can interfere with the success
of this experience.
Observing and Analyzing or intellectualizing each
other's knowledge. You should therefore avoid
intellectualizing your spouse as much as possible.
The fact that you have decided to buy and read this
book shows that you are having a happy marriage
and our objective is to make it happier. Do not
have the fear that this exercise will rock your
marriage. Don't be defensive in the process of
Dialogue: Key For Attaining Harmonious & Peaceful Marital Relationships
communication with your partner. If you do, it
will keep you from making this the greatest
experience of your relationship. We promise you,
if you keep listening to each other, you will
discover some things that you have not known
about your spouse before.
This book has fifteen chapters covering different
issues for dialogue between husband and wife in
their marital relationship. Chapter one states the
objectives of this book. Chapter two discusses the
meaning of marriage. Chapter three focuses on
feelings that influence our behaviours as
individual and they are part of the psychological
make up of individuals. Feelings are the greatest
determinant of our irrational behaviours. There is
difference between feelings and thinking. Feeling
is irrational while thinking is rational behaviour.
Similarly, in Chapter four, we look at the various
artificial masks people wear to hide themselves in
Objectives Of This Book
handling certain uncomfortable situations in their
relationship. Some people wear masks and some
behave like fools or junk. The differences between
a man and a woman in their physical and
psychological make up are highlighted. In chapter
five we look at factors that influence our actions as
husband and wife and the problems it creates for
us as we try to marry according to world's plan.
Chapters six and seven look at the various marital
problems and how to deal with them through
dialogue. Chapter eight reveals the ideal marital
relationship based on God's plan. Chapter nine
highlights some of the risks inherent in openness
and dialogue. Chapter ten explains the importance
of sacrament of matrimony, its graces and
spirituality. Chapter11 raises some possible
unresolved issues which should have been
dialogued upon before marriage which may still
be discussed after marriage. Chapter 12 looks at
the relationship between parents and their
Dialogue: Key For Attaining Harmonious & Peaceful Marital Relationships
children. Chapter 13 advises couples to make
dialogue their new way of life. Chapter 14 is asking
couples to be apostles of a good husband and a wife
as taught in this book.
Chapter 15 ends the book with some tips for
attaining harmonious relationship between
husband and wife.
Reading all the chapters and carrying out the
exercises will bring joy to your relationship. This
experience has made our marriage a very happy
one and we believe it will also work for you.
What are my feelings about the way we
communicate in our relationship?

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