It Takes More Than Love....
Lasting relationships need good communication
Often couples will find themselves asking, “What happened?” They may find themselves thinking “We used to laugh together and get along, now I am angry, resentful and burdened. They’re always putting me down or they don’t care about how I feel.” Lasting relationships are hard work. They require commitment, maturity and effective communication skills.
Keys to good communication include:
- Respect: ensuring that we view our spouse as a valued, important individual.
- Caring: wanting the best for the other person and not just ourselves.
- Grace: understanding that we are all human, make mistakes and have a difficult time making changes.
- Responsibility: looking honestly at ourselves and taking ownership of our mistakes and short‐comings.
- Attitude: remembering how we say things may be more important than what we say.
Steps in effective communication:
- Set up a mutually agreeable time to sit down.
- State your intention: “I’d like to talk with you about something that is bothering me so it doesn’t become a problem between us.”
- Now it is your spouse’s turn to tell you what they understood you to say in a non‐defensive manner. If they have understood, then you can move to the next step. If not, try again, using different words until your message has been heard. This should be evidenced by your spouse being able to articulate your message.
- Clearly and simply state what you want to say, “I find myself becoming irritated that there often seems to be dirty dishes in the sink.”
- Repeat Step 3.
- State a proposed solution, “I realize that I don’t always empty the clean dishes out of the dishwasher in a timely manner. If I empty the dishwasher every morning, would you be willing to rinse and put your dishes into the dishwasher when you are done with them?”
- Repeat Step 3. Repeat this type of exchange until you have come to a mutually agreeable resolution.
While lasting relationships do take effort and work, they can be deeply rewarding, offering security, stability, friendship and love.