Communication really is “the name of the game.” You can’t have a relationship with anyone if you don’t communicate. I’m a little afraid of what cell phones and texting is doing to our ability to communicate. We are living in a world that expects everything instantly and conveniently. If I want to tell you something I can e-mail it or text so as not to “interrupt” your day but not forget to tell you. However there is no real discussion. No seeing the other persons body language or hear the inflection in their voice. We can’t see or hear those extra pieces of your communication that sometimes say way more than your words do.
You would think that after 30 years of marriage we would have communication figured out between the two of us. But this weekend we proved again that communication is something you just have to keep working at. If you put your arms out in front of you. Imagine your hands as communication arrows. Now bend your arms at the elbow so your hands cross over one on top of the other one, but your arms do not touch each other. Now you have our scenario Saturday. One hand of communication is me and one is my husband. We both talked and we both listened but we didn’t “communicate.” We didn’t really listen beyond the surface. We certainly did not ask questions to clarify what the other was really meaning. We just assumed. Plans got messed up and we were both frustrated and a little hurt.
AFTER the plans for the day were done (not in their original form) we talked. Late is better than not talking at all. It was really a very simple mis-understaning but we had to listen to one another setting our own agenda aside while the other person was talking. I had to ask him what he really wanted to do and why versus just assuming I understood. I also needed to let him know when he says things to me I really do listen and I make plans around what he tells me he is working on or wants to do. That means if he changes his mind or something comes up he needs to let me know that as well.
We (my husband and I) have the awesome privilege of having parents who have both been married 40 years, having been married 30 years ourselves, being in a small group of married couples who purposefully study marriage relationship stuff and working with Marriage Matters which gives us opportunities to meet many other married couples. So as I said earlier you would think we should have this communication thing down pat, but we don’t. Communication is the foundation of a good relationship, any relationship. You should never quit working on it. Do you struggle with good communication? What are some things that have helped you have clear communication?