Issues facing marriage and family relationships continue to rise for many people and in many different areas of life. Healthy marriages and families are the foundation of thriving communities. When marriage and family relationships break down, it affects not only the couples and their children, but also their family members and communities. It is my hope and desire that the following resources will be helpful to my readers. The information provided below is not meant to solve any particular relationship issue but to serve as a resource and motivation for one to seek proper help as needed.


Marriage and Family
What is marriage and what is family? People in society may have different views, interpretations and definitions on the meaning of marriage and family.  Marriage can be defined as a contract binding two people living together or separately as a husband and wife or partners. Dictionaries also provide different version on the meaning of a marriage. Some define them as a social union or legal contract between people called spouses that create some forms or levels of rights and obligations between the two people or between the spouses and their in-laws. The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures. 


When two people form their lives into a marriage, it is very important for them to understand their own definition and the definition of their spouse on marriage.  One’s understanding, desires and expectations in a marriage can serve as the core values for that person as he or she remains in a marriage relationship. 


It seems that one of the great sources of stress in any relationship is the lack of communication. We do not seem to be able to say what we want to say in such a way that the other person hears what we mean. Sometimes we think the other person has understood us, only to find out later that we were completely misunderstood. What can we do to be better communicators? How do we develop the skill necessary to say what we want to say in such a way that we are heard and then assured that we have been understood? The responses to these questions can be found in my book, “Intercultural Communication: Impacts on Marriage and Family Relationships”. 


Below are some do's and don'ts of communication.


Try to say back to the other person what you think you've heard.

Speak with "I feel" statements when sharing. That way, you are not accusing, you are expressing your feelings, right or wrong they are still your feelings.

Make sure you take time to respond with some kind of understanding remark that indicates you have heard what the other person has said and validates their feelings. Example: "Hmm...I see." or "That must be difficult for you" or "I know that hurts."

Do resist the temptation to give an answer or a solution.


Don't be thinking about what you are going to say while the other person is speaking.

Don't make "accusing" statements. You will begin to argue over the validity of the statement when what you really want to say is that you feel a certain way.

Don't deny the other person's feelings by telling them what they should or shouldn't feel. Don't invalidate them by making fun of what they feel. Example: "You shouldn't feel that way" or "Don't feel that way" or "I can't believe you feel that way, that's silly."

Don't give an answer or solution unless you are asked for one. Many times, the person is not looking for an answer, but just venting.

Copyright 2013 Dr. Youd Sinh Chao. All Rights Reserved.