Most couples struggle with their marriage communication. And, most couples believe their communication problems are the root of all their relationship problems. It's understandable. Most believe that if they could just communicate better then they would stop arguing and get along better.
And, there is some truth to what they believe about communication. I notice how couples often misinterpret what the other says or don't speak clearly and directly about what they need or want. Sometimes they talk over each other or ignore each other completely. Clearly, that kind of communication does not work.
However, none of that is really about marriage communication. True, communication is very important in a relationship. I like to think of communication as the oil put into an engine. It makes the engine run smoothly. But, if you've got a bad engine, then it doesn't matter what kind of oil you put into it. Good or poor communication stems out of your point of view about your partner and marriage. If you've got a negative perspective or are feeling distant or simply just in a bad mood, communication goes awry. But, remarkably if you have a positive (or at least neutral) perspective and are feeling connected, then communication goes quite well.
Try it out. It's amazing how we let our partner's snarky comment slide when we're in a good mood or know that they are just having a hard time at work. But it's also equally amazing when we jump on them for a misspoken word when we're in a bad mood or are feeling distant. In these moments, it has nothing to do with communication. It's our point of view and our feeling of closeness or distance that makes communication go poorly.
In my sessions, I do work on helping couples communicate but it's communication from the perspective of helping the couple move closer to each other, learn how to validates each person's point of view and take full responsibility for their words and actions.
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