We all come to relationships with walls — barriers we possess, in need of being broken or taken down.
Things we’ve used to protect ourselves, to defend ourselves, and to keep us from getting hurt. Ways we keep people at a distance, or even keep them out. We all have walls, we just don’t always recognize them.
You might be reading this and wondering, What are my walls? Do I even have them? The answer is yes.
Walls come in different forms, shapes, and sizes, but they always impact our closest relationships and the way we interact with the world around us.
Maybe we’ve erected a wall of isolation, where we choose to keep to ourselves instead of engaging with those we love.
Maybe it’s the wall of denial, where we refuse to acknowledge our role and responsibility in a conflict.
Maybe it’s the wall of withdrawal, where we pull away and avoid rather than confront.
Maybe it’s the wall of fantasy, when we escape from reality instead of learning to deal with it in a healthy way.
Maybe it’s the wall of invalidation, when it’s easier to criticize and dismiss than it is to encourage and build up.
Maybe it’s the wall of rage, where we use our anger and negative behaviors to keep people at bay.
There are so many walls that we can build in life, in relationships and in marriage. Walls that keep our relationships stagnant and our hearts distant.
In fact, out of a recent survey I took asking married couples how much time they spend in quality communication with their spouse, I almost couldn’t believe what they said regarding communication in marriage.
The time spent in quality communication was so much lower than I expected. And probably so much lower than you expect.
But that’s the thing with the walls we build around us. There are so many walls that keep us from one another. And the only way to break down these walls, is to recognize them and begin to take them down one brick at a time using the tool of vulnerability: the invitation to let people in.
There is so much power in using our words, our actions, and our interactions as opportunities to tear down the walls we’ve erected and to begin connecting with the people around us.
But in order to start taking down our walls, we have to recognize them. And in order to recognize them, we have to be looking for them. Because with the power and strength of our loving God at work within us, we can truly scale any wall.
This short excerpt was taken from the beginning of Chapter 3 of Choosing Marriage called Walls Will Fall: From Vulnerability To Intimacy. The the rest of the chapter, we talk through some really important things about conflict and communication that often go unaddressed in the church. Here are some of the topics I cover in this chapter:
- How your past impacts the walls you bring into marriage.
- How to recognize your walls.
- Learn about the seven specific walls that you erect without realizing it.
- Learn a practical way to increase intimacy and vulnerability in marriage.
- Discuss how to take down walls by communication.
- Reveal astonishing statistics gathered from 1,000 single people regarding how much time they think married people spend communicating, vs. data gathered from 1,000 married people regarding how much time they spend in actual communication in marriage per week.
- Discuss the four levels of conversation and how to apply them to your relationships.
- Learn a practical homework assignment called “couch time” to increase meaningful communication in marriage and your relationships.
- Learn about “rules of engagement” – how to determine what rules and boundaries you need in order to fight well and manage conflict.
- Get a lesson on the most popular communication technique Debra teaches couples in order to navigate conflict and talk through the “harder topics”…a technique you can use in just about any relationship!
- Stories from real life couples, clients, and even a look into Debra’s personal communication in marriage – both the struggles and victories.
And that’s just Chapter 3!!! Order your copy of Choosing Marriage TODAY!
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Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, national speaker, relationship expert, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, and Choosing Marriage: Why It Has To Start With We > Me where she writes candidly about love, sex, dating, relationships, and marriage. You may also recognize her voice from her 200+ articles at Relevant Magazine, Crosswalk.com, and all over the web! She’s the creator of this True Love Dates Blog, reaching millions of people with the message that healthy people make healthy relationships! Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter or book a session with her today!