HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP INTERVIEW 1
The person I interviewed is my cousin. She has been married for thelast 20 years. I was invited to her 20th weddinganniversary when I inquired from her about the secret to a successfulrelationship. She is a mother to two girls, both of whom are in highschool. She owns a catering business while her husband is a banker.
She told me that she builds her relationship with her husband bydoing fun things together and for her, this helps them stayconnected to each other. For example, they do charity work togetherat least once per month where her husband helps her offer freecatering services to a local orphanage. Apart from doing fun thingstogether, she told me that communication is paramount to a healthyrelationship hence she always tries to talk to her husband moreoften. For her, technology has made it even easier to maintain thecommunication ties between them even when they are far apart.Besides, she endeavors to apologize whenever she hurts her husband`sfeelings.
When I asked her about something she values in her husband, she toldme that he is very honest. She believes that trust is the mostvaluable thing in the world and once lost, it is hard to regain. Shenarrated to me that one day her in-laws were concerned that she wasspending too much time on her catering business, neglecting herhusband and children. However, her husband did not hide thisinformation from her. She was pleased that her husband is always onher side.
She told me that she deals with misunderstandings in her relationshipby clarifying her message and requesting her husband to do the same.According to her, poor communication is the primary cause ofdisagreement since it creates room to perceptions andmisinterpretations of each other’s intentions and messages. Apartfrom being clear about her point of view, she ensures that theydiscuss one thing at a time.
Every relationship has its ups and downs, but for her, she managesconflict through talking to her husband. According to her, timing isparamount whenever two parties are in conflict. She told me that shenever tries to make her husband talk about issues affecting theirrelationship whenever he is angry or tired. Mostly, she waits untilhe is happy or relaxed. Thirdly, whenever they conflict, she aims fora win-win situation. Five years after their marriage, her husbanddeveloped a habit of spending his evenings with friends in a baruntil it is very late at night. Even if she was concerned, shedecided to wait for the right time. Whenever her husband came home,she would serve him food and make him believe that nothing is wrong.One day, her husband arrived home early and after a nice dinner, sheexplained to him that she was concerned that they were growing apart.From that day, they agreed that he would always strive to havequality time with her and their children during dinner time wheneverpossible.
When I asked her about one of the keys to her successfulrelationship, she said that valuing your partner has worked miraclesin her marriage. First, she said that when one appreciates his/herpartner, he/she does not compare him/her to anybody else. This helpsin building his/her self-esteem. According to her, valuing yourpartner means that he/she is worth more than your ego, money, career,or any other thing.
From my interview with my cousin, I learnt several nuggets aboutinterpersonal communication and relationships. First, I learnt that aperson should not seek to find solutions to all conflicts in his/herrelationship. The most important thing is ensuring that the situationdoes not get worse. According to Wiley(2011), when conflict escalates something unpleasantstarts to develop and if nothing is done about it, everything getsout of hand. Besides, she taught me that when you value your partneror friend, winning is not as important as maintaining therelationship. However, even though compromising is crucial tobuilding a healthy relationship, it may have devastating effects onthe person who is always on the losing end in the long-run. Besides,interviewing my cousin made me realize the importance of propercommunication in interpersonal communication and relationshipsregarding importances of timing and sending clear messages.
Wiley, A. R.(2011). Connecting as a couple: Communication skills for healthyrelationships. Accessed on November 10, 2016.https://ncsu.edu/ffci/publications/2011/v12-n1-2011-spring/wiley/fa-11-wiley.php