Country Star Billy Ray Cyrus Knows Something About Divorce

by betsyross on April 1, 2011

During a recent appearance on the television show, The View, Billy Ray Cyrus spoke about his highly publicized marital problems. After filing for a divorce, he and his wife recently decided to try to work things out. Cyrus said that a communications breakdown was what had led to the bumpy road his marriage had taken and that he believed communication was the biggest problem among humans everywhere.

We agree with Billy Ray. All too often spouses communicate with each other in unhealthy ways and this always leads to trouble. It has been said that if spouses paused and thought for just a second before they spoke to each other, the divorce rate would drop dramatically.

What interferes with clear and kindly communications between spouses, even divorcing spouses who must still communicate as they co-parent their children?It turns out that many factors can influence how we communicate and turn seemingly harmless words into wound producing barbs. Here are a few of the reasons couples can fall into unhealthy communication patterns:

1. Different communication styles. If you feel a need to always say everything and address all difficulties right on the spot while your partner prefers to think things over and come to you when he/she is ready, life can get very complicated. Take the time to understand and respect each other’s communication styles and differences and try to creatively problem solve how you can talk with each other without the bombs flying. If you can’t do this on your own, seek out an expert to help you both learn a better way to communicate.

2. Lingering resentment and disappointment from unresolved issues. If your communication style is to sweep things under the rug or pretend everything is fine rather than tackle the tough issues as they arise, then there may be some old feelings (ie-left over anger or mistrust) that are getting in the way of present day communications. Clearing the air, in a thoughtful and healthy way and even though the issues might be tough to talk about, always helps relationships stay healthy.

3. Not taking responsibility for what you say and do. While Billy Ray Cyrus was initially quoted in GQ Magazine as saying, “The damned [Hannah Montana] show ruined my family”, he recanted this when he appeared on The View. There, Cyrus talked of not being able to blame anyone or anything else for the difficulties he had encountered in both his marriage and his family life. He seemed to be more willing to take responsibility for his own role in his marital difficulties and even expressed gratitude for what the show had brought him. Cyrus did note that believed fame was hard on a person and on a marriage, nonetheless.

4. Speaking before thinking. Everyone has their own capacity to sit with their feelings. Some people seem to have less of an ability to tolerate the levels of frustration, worry, disappointment, etc. that life seems to regularly dish out. They are kind of like steam cookers with valves on too tight, the pressure builds and builds up in their system and then they blow. When this happens, they usually are not  thinking about how they are speaking or exactly what they are saying. This can cause a lot of pain and damage to your marriage. Better to, as they say, ‘sleep on it’ and think before speaking or ask to table the discussion to another time if you feel that you will say something you will regret. Remember, as urgent as it may seem to settle things, it’s always better to take time to calm down, think things over, and then talk together when you are both able.

5. Not listening to each other. How many times have you heard that listening is the key to a healthy relationship? Well, it is true. If you are distracted by one of the hundreds of reasons that we don’t listen, ( ie- exhaustion from overwork, a hectic schedule, uncomfortable environment, irritation from something that happened in the past that you haven’t let go of, etc.) then you are bound to not truly hear what your partner is trying to say. What can you do? Spend some time thinking and reflecting and figure out why you aren’t listening. Again, you may need some outside help form a therapist or trusted friend. Once you know what’s interfering with your ability to take in what your partner or ex who is now your partner in co-parenting is trying to communicate then do what you can to fix it and clear the way for better communications. You might just be surprised at how things change for the better once you can really hear what your partner (and other family members) are trying to say to you!

These are just a few of the reasons couples find it hard to communicate and can even decide to throw in the towel. Billy Ray and Tish Cyrus have decided to try and improve communications in hopes of strengthening their marriage. What has gotten in the way when you have tried to talk with your partner and how can you improve the communications in your marriage? Send us your comments below.

 

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