The third step to communicate. Are you communicating with your spouse?
If one of you isn't getting the message, maybe it's time to adjust your communication style. It could be the simple fix that completely changes the tone of your marriage.
Here are the Six Essential Steps to Create An Amazing Marriage:
- Communicate positively
The Fourth Step to an Amazing Marriage: Communicate Positively
A judge was interviewing a woman regarding her upcoming divorce, and asked, “What are the grounds for your divorce?” She answered, “About three acres with a nice home in the middle of the property".
“No”, he said, “I mean what is the foundation?”
“It’s made of brick and concrete.”
“I mean, what are your relations?”
“I have a cousin, an aunt and an uncle, and so do my husband’s parents.”
He tried again. “Is there any infidelity in your marriage?”
“Yes, we have two stereo sets.”
“Lady, does your husband ever beat you up?”
“Yes,” she replied. “He gets up earlier than I do most mornings.”
The frustrated judge finally asked, “Lady, why do you want a divorce?” She answered, “Oh, I’ve never wanted a divorce. My husband wants a divorce. He says he can’t communicate with me!”Good communication is understanding and being understood. As husbands and wives we should be able to talk to one another easily. We should know that we can share our feelings in confidence, know that we won’t be laughed at, and feel understood. Trying to first understand before being understood means that we’re more interested in our companion than ourselves. It means that we really want to communicate, not just tell how we feel.
We can understand in two ways. First, we think about how the other person is feeling - with his or her life experiences and needs. We try to think like the other person, and really BE that person for a moment. Second, we listen carefully, concentrating on what is being said, not on what we’re going to say next. We understand one another better when we really listen to what they say.
When we try to understand before we try to be understood, do you know what you’ll discover?
- Your spouse’s behavior usually makes perfectly good sense when you truly understand his/her perception.
- Your personal perception is not necessarily the only or the correct perception. When communicating we need to say, “This is the way I see it” rather than “this is the way it is.”
A large part of marriage problem-solving is understanding your spouse’s point of view. That requires having an open mind, an open heart, and a willingness to change if their idea is better.
Please keep an eye out for Step 5: Confront, the next article in Dr. Paula's series on creating an amazing marriage.
Dr. Paula Fellingham is the Founder and CEO of the Women’s Information Network (WIN), an educational and social network for women, and a global community of women: www.WomensInformationNetwork.com. The WIN hosted the largest gathering of women in history for the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day on March 8, 2011: 377 live events in 152 countries.
Paula has given presentations to delegates at the United Nations, for the World Movement of Mothers in Paris, and at numerous other conferences across the world.
As a magazine contributor, Paula has written articles for People Magazine, International Business Times, Boston Globe, ABC 11, Worth Magazine, Family Living, Executive Excellence.
Paula received her Bachelor of Arts in 1971, and her Doctorate in 2004. Dr. Gilbert Fellingham (University Professor of Statistics) and Paula are the parents of 8 children, and the grandparents of 24 grandchildren.
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