Why do so many couples find it impossible to communicate, what is causing the problems that so many couples struggle with?
Communication on the surface seems such a simple activity, but when you dig deeper you’ll start to see why it’s such a problem.
There are all sorts of help for couples communication, but unless that help supports each person to effectively translate what the other means when they speak how will the communication ever make any sense?
I spoke with a gentleman this week who told me the professional help he went to told them to go home and talk more.
I could hear they could both talk, but they didn’t know how to comprehend each other’s perspectives and meanings.
Their talking only created a bigger gap in their connection and would only create more proof they were not compatible.
Everyone is incompatible if they can’t communicate, but communication that leads to true meanings can be learned and so the connection can be rebuilt if that critical skill is acquired.
So what is communication for?
- Is it about sharing information?
- Is it about connecting?
- Can it create emotions such as trust honesty love, security?
- Can it create negative emotions such as blame, judgements?
- Is it about fixing things?
- Is it about building attraction?
- Is it about bringing energy?
What if communication is about all those things and more?
What if each person was driven to communicate differently and they didn’t know?
Look at this example of a difference between a husband and his wife from just one simple sentence.
I was watching a couple communicate.
He said to her “You shouldn’t think like that” and then went on with his advice.
I know his intention wasn’t bad or to hurt her.
I know he didn’t want her to have the bad feelings she was experiencing.
He felt she was being overly emotional and all she had to do was stop, let go and move on, that’s what he would do.
He had actually just upset her and created the start of an argument. He had no idea what he triggered in her.
His sentence “You shouldn’t think like that” was full of problems that would natural jar her.
First of all he judged her feelings and he wasn’t qualified to do that.
He then told her how she should feel, no one likes to be told how they should feel, even he agreed he wouldn’t like that when I explained this to him.
He wanted her to listen to his advice so they could shut the conversation down and move on.
He wasn’t aware she didn’t ask, need or want his advice she just wanted him to be there with her, she wanted a husband, not an advisor.
She wanted his presence and his care she wanted a safe loving connection.
He wasn’t connected to what his words would naturally do to her.
In the moment his words helped her to lose connection with him and that worried her.
In her mind, he wasn’t interested in her feelings so it resulted in no connection and therefore an instant loss of trust.
But it went much deeper than that because her real pain was that if he kept acting this way she knew her feelings wouldn’t allow her to love him the way she wanted.
His inability to connect to her was changing her and she didn’t know what to do, she was scared and her fear came out as anger at him.
He also didn’t know it would have killed her attraction to him at that moment.
As she heard his words and instantly became upset, he too became upset because he was only trying to help her, couldn’t she see that?
The fix he hoped for had failed yet again, he was so frustrated.
He wasn’t aware that so many emotional problems could happen to her from such a simple sentence.
He knew he was failing, but had no clue as to why or what to do about it.
This type of communication problem is very common and is very painful for both people.
Neither person is aware of the other’s perspective because they don’t know how to translate what the other means.
They don’t know what to change so they go round in painful circles.
I could tell they both loved each other, but unless this critical part of their marriage was corrected they would feel so much pain, in the end, it would have overpowered their love.