Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rules of a Healthy Marriage IV

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 11:01 AM
Another piece of that puzzle is healthy communication. We all have communication issues. Sometimes we feel like we’ve said one thing, while the person we’re talking to has heard something completely different. I remember one time when my husband and I were dating and planned on going to lunch together. I went to meet him at the place we agreed we’d eat at that day, but he never showed up. On my way back to the office I got a call to find out what happened. He’d shown up at my office to pick me up to take me to lunch. We made a commitment to communicate better. That was about 13 years ago. Just the other week I told my husband that the kids and I would be going to a friend’s house and he’d have the evening to himself. When I called him at four in the afternoon to hook up with him for supper he was surprised. He understood that he had the whole day to himself. I’d said “evening.” He’d heard “day.” Obviously, we’re still working on communication.

Healthy communication fosters growth and closeness in any relationship, especially a marriage. However, communication within a marriage is quite possibly the most challenging. Not only do you have to communicate more often than in almost any other relationship, you also have to deal with the dramatically different ways men and women communicate. In their book Men are like Waffles Women are like Spaghetti, Bill and Pam Ferrelll highlight these differences. Their research and years of working with couples taught them that when men start a conversation it’s meant to be about that topic and that topic only. Women, on the other hand, process while talking and think of all the things related to the topic the discussion began with. The best way to deal with the different ways men and women communicate and deal with conversations is to listen. You know, the two ears one mouth thing. We should listen twice as often as we talk. This doesn’t accomplish better communication. It only leads to frustration.

If our men truly say very little compared to us, don’t we want to pay closer attention to them? If they say little they’re going to be choosy about what they say and it will hold more meaning. Listening to him is a form of communication in itself. It communicates that we respect what he has to say. It communicates that we believe what he has to say is valid and important to us. If he feels heard and respected, he’s more likely to tell us more and listen to us when we talk. This is important on surface level communication (details, thoughts, and opinions of life) and essential when communicating on deeper levels (the vulnerable issues of life.) As we communicate on those deeper levels there’s a greater chance for miscommunication and conflict. There’s also a greater chance for deeper intimacy and growth if we utilize healthy communication tools.

0 comments on "Rules of a Healthy Marriage IV"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rules of a Healthy Marriage IV

Another piece of that puzzle is healthy communication. We all have communication issues. Sometimes we feel like we’ve said one thing, while the person we’re talking to has heard something completely different. I remember one time when my husband and I were dating and planned on going to lunch together. I went to meet him at the place we agreed we’d eat at that day, but he never showed up. On my way back to the office I got a call to find out what happened. He’d shown up at my office to pick me up to take me to lunch. We made a commitment to communicate better. That was about 13 years ago. Just the other week I told my husband that the kids and I would be going to a friend’s house and he’d have the evening to himself. When I called him at four in the afternoon to hook up with him for supper he was surprised. He understood that he had the whole day to himself. I’d said “evening.” He’d heard “day.” Obviously, we’re still working on communication.

Healthy communication fosters growth and closeness in any relationship, especially a marriage. However, communication within a marriage is quite possibly the most challenging. Not only do you have to communicate more often than in almost any other relationship, you also have to deal with the dramatically different ways men and women communicate. In their book Men are like Waffles Women are like Spaghetti, Bill and Pam Ferrelll highlight these differences. Their research and years of working with couples taught them that when men start a conversation it’s meant to be about that topic and that topic only. Women, on the other hand, process while talking and think of all the things related to the topic the discussion began with. The best way to deal with the different ways men and women communicate and deal with conversations is to listen. You know, the two ears one mouth thing. We should listen twice as often as we talk. This doesn’t accomplish better communication. It only leads to frustration.

If our men truly say very little compared to us, don’t we want to pay closer attention to them? If they say little they’re going to be choosy about what they say and it will hold more meaning. Listening to him is a form of communication in itself. It communicates that we respect what he has to say. It communicates that we believe what he has to say is valid and important to us. If he feels heard and respected, he’s more likely to tell us more and listen to us when we talk. This is important on surface level communication (details, thoughts, and opinions of life) and essential when communicating on deeper levels (the vulnerable issues of life.) As we communicate on those deeper levels there’s a greater chance for miscommunication and conflict. There’s also a greater chance for deeper intimacy and growth if we utilize healthy communication tools.

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