The reason couples are struggling with communication is because they are mind-reading the intent behind each others words, this practice is potentially destructive because it erodes trust a foundation that’s needed to keep couples together.
The first step is to ask your partner a simple question. When you are speaking with them find out what meanings they are putting to your words, you might be surprised at what you discover.
In sessions I can ask a couple to communicate to each other and then ask them to write down the meanings to each others words.
What’s interesting is the look on each others faces as they read their partners translation. The intent they had when they spoke, did not match the translation made by their partner.
Now this confusion happens in an exchange of just two sentences within 2-5 minutes.
Now imagine years of this confusion. This could create feelings that my partner doesn’t care about me, love me, I’m too old, too fat, not pretty enough, I don’t earn enough money, I’m not enough. Imagine if your partner is constantly translating your words into the wrong meanings what might happen to your relationship?
This is actually happening every day for couples around the world. The problem is that language is very powerful and yet it’s so easy to misunderstand each others words.
As we start to feel consistently bad about our own assumptions of what we think our partner meant. We can start to create a filter that distorts everything they say to us.
If this happen the stacking of resentments is fast.
The simple fact is we all have the ability to put a filter on how we translate the world we live in. How a filter is made up is based on many factors our state, our history, beliefs, needs, values etc. What’s important is knowing the filter is there and our partners filter is very likely to be very different from ours.
Don’t assume you know what your partner means when they speak, because whatever they consistently feel they will attach to you so it’s critical you know.
If you want to keep your relationship make sure what they are attaching to you is consistently good.
If you think that was a challenge, now add in the fact that men and women use very different language patterns and styles of communication.
- Stephen takes couples through their specific dynamics in his sessions.
So if you can’t get through to your partner help is on hand.