Marriage and Communication

Communication is a big key to a marriage. Rarely do I deal with couples who just refuse to talk to each other. I do see a lot of couples who are talking to each other most of the time, but they don't seem to be getting anywhere. How can this be? Well there are a few reasons. Don't assume that just because you are speaking that the other person is understanding you. There is what you said, what you thought you said and what you really said. Then there is what they heard, what they thought they heard and what they really heard. Confusing? Now you are getting the picture. Conveying ones feelings and thoughts isn't as easy as one might think. We also assume that just because we each speak the same language, (In my case it's english.) That the other person understands everything we say the first time. Don't do that - we are not as good at this as we think.

Here are a few things I learned over 20 years ago from Dr. Richard Dobbins. Doc is a professional psychologist and founder of Emerge Counseling Center in Akron, Ohio

The ABC's of Communication

A - Accept one another.
If the other person knows that you are not there to confront them or start an argument, they are more likely to listen. You may not approve of something they said or did - but you are not going to reject them for it.

B - Become a good listener.
If you can get this one down, you will add years to your marriage. Never assume that you understood what your spouse said the first time. Reword what they said into your own words and ask them if they got it right. Many arguments are derailed just from doing that. Misunderstandings are kept at a minimum. Once you understand exactly what your spouse is saying, then you can respond in an appropriate manner.

C - Couch your statements in "I" rather than "you" terms. "I" terms inform people of what you feel. "You" terms enflame. "You did this and you did that.", puts the other person on the defense and an argument will follow.

By providing the right atmosphere, giving your attention (which is a sign of respect) to your spouse, and keeping the right attitude about what you are talking about. (Taking responsibility for your actions.) Then you will begin to achieve something that you haven't felt in a long time. Unity and success.