It all comes down to the basics: Communication
I have counseled couples for over 15 years and found that every one of them said Communication was their problem. Last night I attended a book club meeting and was asked what was the most common problem brought up at counseling. Of course, I jumped on it and said without reservation: Communication.
They were surprised and thought it might be finances or intimacy. Those are clearly common issues as well; but without appropriate communication, those cannot be resolved.
Sadly, communication misfires account for many relationship problems, not only in couples but also between employer to employee, teacher to student, friend to friend, any dialogue involving two people trying to convey a message.
At the root of the communication breakdown lies the trouble of defining what is the matter. Many times two people think they are communicating about the same issue but come to find out their definitions are different.
A simple example right out of my book He Said She Said I Said is this:
She said: “He doesn’t spend any time with me.”
He said: “That’s not true. Of course, I do. I am always sitting right there on the couch with you in our great room. I am always near.”
She said: “Seriously? You are there, but you have your headset on, and you are either playing video games, responding to emails, or surfing the net. I don’t even think you know I am there.”
The disconnect is that she defines “spending time together” as interacting, and he defines it as just being nearby. This is a major problem. Definitions are important and need to be made clear.
Communication is a big topic. It is more than just talking, and it is more than listening. We communicate from the minute we get up until the minute we go to bed at night. We communicate verbally, in writing, and non-verbally in gestures and expressions. We communicate using social media on Facebook, posting ideas and opinions, and on Instagram with pictures. Communication is constant.
“Good communication between a husband and wife is the glue that holds a marriage together, and it can be the difference between a happy relationship with someone or one of contention and strife.” p71 – The Gift of a Lifetime: Building a Marriage That Lasts
Want to learn more? Then visit my website and download the free eBook on Five Ways to Improve Communication with Your Spouse or Partner. And stay tuned for more on this topic in future blogs.
Have a question you would like answered? Please comment below and I will be happy to respond.