Blog : HERrespect

The Key to a Good Relationship

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Tasnova Rahman from Change Associates in Bangladesh sharing a few lessons in life

Do not be misled! I am not a love guru. But after some years of working on a range of content, concepts, and resources combined with delightful experiences post marriage, I have learned a few lessons that I thought I wanted to share.

First, the least expectations you have the merrier you are. This pointer is applicable for your spouse, in-laws and everyone you have in your life. Second, you can never be a pizza! What I dramatically mean is that only a pizza can cater to a family’s diverse needs and make everyone happy. An individual, no matter how angelic the person is, can never make everyone happy. So before stressing yourself out in your efforts just stop, think and prioritize. Keep a balance and keep yourself sane. My last and favorite pointer is – effective communication. Every good relationship, besides love and friendship, requires honest communication. Be it happiness or troubles (personal or related to that particular person/relationship) it is extremely important you communicate it. The time you stop talking is when all other mushrooms of doubt and boredom arise. The lack of effective communication brings distance in a relationship and this is why it is so core.

I got case studies, personal sharing from women (garment factory workers)who earned respect from her in-laws, made a position in her family where her opinion now matters. There are women and men (yes we convinced men!!) who are in their own way practicing active listening, noticing body language (non-verbal gesture). Most interestingly ‘I’ statements (where you express yourself logically, using ‘I’ without blaming or indicating the opposite person) is something I wasn’t expecting anyone to internalize it so well. These workers and management (surprised again? yes we convinced them too!!) are implementing this learned skill with their spouse, supervisor, in-laws. This indicates that we all care about our relationships, we want to be happy in it and we want to try to better things. And guess what? These life skills worked for them. It worked for me. Sometimes we just have to be little strategic but not manipulative!

Communication is a life skill that we do not acknowledge.

My father says those who do not talk or speak are like ‘jalebi’ (circuitous looking dessert) because they suppress themselves and complicate things. So, unwind your words and talk, listen carefully and strengthen your communication skills.


Tasnova Rahman is working on HERrespect with Change Associates Ltd for the What Works To Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls from the Global Programme

Picture credit: Rezwanul Haque

An abuser – then and now

Shakib Khan used to be an abuser at home. He had a bad reputation in his own family. He thought it was fun teasing girls in the street with his friends. He had no idea that that he was doing all kinds of violence till he attended HERrespect training. He realized how his reputation and relationship with family was tinted because of his ignorance and bad habits. He is trying to mend his behavior specially by helping his wife in her work whenever he can. He does not join his friends to tease girls on the road anymore. He confessed to the kinds of violence he committed before but he is trying to change himself slowly. What is more, he is also trying to change his friends positively from these bad habits.

Shakib Khan
Mechanic

Out of shell

Shahin Islam is one of the regular male worker trainees of a Bangladesh garment factory. From the very first training he was an attentive participant but he was very shy. During training 5, he started talking and sharing his experience about life in family as well as factory after HERrespect training. He confessed that he used to misbehave with his wife and he thought it is all right. Beating wife was believed to be normal as well for him. He realized how wrong he was after he got training from Change’s team. He considered his behavior was a sin towards his wife and these days he is working on his relation with her. According to Shahin, this is the starting. As a change maker he thinks he can also influence other husbands as well who are perpetrators like he was before.

Md. Shahin Islam
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