couples in sad mood
Identifying the most problematic issue in a marriage isn’t hard: it’s communication. Learn more about how your ability to talk matters.
Captain Red McDaniel tapped gently on the walls of his Hanoi Hilton cell. He rehearsed the unique camp code inmates used to communicate with one another. He was well aware that he needed to use extreme caution with this issue.
His Communist captors isolated all of their American guests. They meted out torture to prisoners who communicated.
McDaniel grew to fear solitude far more than his Vietcong captors’ threats of torture as the days passed. The highlight of each day was being escorted to the restroom. There he got to exchange a quick whisper with two other Americans who were brought in at the same time. They explained the camp code. It was an acrostic system in which a specific amount of taps used to spell out letters of the alphabet. McDaniel recognized the code as his only connection to sanity.
If a new prisoner could not learn the code and interact with fellow Americans within 30 days of his arrival, he would begin to withdraw and degenerate. The prisoner’s will to live would deteriorate with time. He would quit eating, and as his tummy swelled, he would begin to feel “fat.” The prisoner would gradually die alone as the weird predatory, solitude, drained his entire life out of him.
The atrocities of the Hanoi Hilton appear unconnected to a marital partnership at first look. But, in a genuine sense, communication is essential to the life of a marriage, just as it was to the lives of the inmates. Your marriage will perish if you do not communicate.
The essential issue in a marriage is open and honest communication towards an issue.
Nothing is as simple as talking, yet no issue is more complicated than communicating. It is vital to use words accurately and carefully, but it is even more crucial that both husband and wife be willing to speak in ways that result in more profound honesty and openness.
The excellent concealment of an issue
Transparency is the first step toward good communication. Genesis describes marriage transparency. “The man and his wife were both naked and were not embarrassed.”
Adam and Eve wore no disguise or covering, and they wore no mask. They were exposed physically, and they did not hide their emotions. No issue was hidden. Before the fall, Adam and Eve exemplified genuine transparency—they were honest, open to each other, and fearful of rejection.
After the fall, however, we read, “They realized they were nude, and they stitched fig leaves together and fashioned themselves loin covers.” Those well-known fig leaf aprons were only part of their disguise. Sin brought with it a lot more than humility. It also introduced deception, lying, fraud, half-truths, manipulation, misrepresentation, issue, distortion, hatred, jealously, control, and a slew of other vices, all of which forced us to hide behind masks.
Many individuals spend a lot of time and effort creating masks to cover their anxieties. They are frightened that if their true identity or issue is discovered, they would be rejected. Deep and honest conversation, in particular, may be pretty scary to many males. Too many spouses and wives are scared, to be honest with one other.