I have spent a lot of time working with couples that are having trouble communicating within their own relationship. Among the first questions I ask them is “Was it always tough to speak to each other”? The solution is almost always no. However, over time, the inability to link through verbal communication has faded. It’s interesting to note, that I see that more in couples that are younger than 40. I believe this to be true because this demographic grew up with a mobile device attached to their hips and hands, and never actually had to rely on fundamental interpersonal skills. And there are 3 places that commonly cause problems for us as we attempt to communicate. Although this may be true at any given age, the art of courtesy is lacking with the 40 and younger audience (please understand that I am not making a generalization. I simply see it more with those couples).
I’ve written about this extensively. When engaged in mindful conversation with our spouse, we do not reply text, emails or take calls. I know I’m guilty of this from time to time. But both my spouse and I are very good at communicating our needs when having these discussions. Just another night as we were driving down to the water, I began to discuss our forthcoming financial responsibilities. In a matter of moments, she asked if we could please not talk about that today. That the point of visiting the water was supposed to enjoy the wildlife and sunset. In a matter of moments, that conversation ceased, and we could enjoy our day talking about more meaningful things.
By showing her respect and honoring her wishes, we could connect to one another and source. She said her request. She was not rude about it. We had a beautiful evening.
The next area which brings couples do my doorway is their fighting. When two or more are gathered together, there’ll eventually be misunderstanding and conflict. But if you “fight fair”, it may be a doorway that leads to greater intimacy. Allow me to try and simplify this. It’s so important that when a tricky conversation begins, be completely present and invest in the procedure.
I’ve had couples when in the midst of a heated conversation take calls, turn of the TV set and some other thing they can do to prevent intimacy. There are numerous tools out there that could help alleviate an argument. It would be beneficial to research a few, and have them easily available (and agreed upon) before a fight. It’s a lot better to be proactive than reactive in such situations.
The final thing I wish to mention is that the “I am sorry” area. So a lot people have outgrown an apology. We either do not say it. Or, we do not mean it. But even before we reach that point, it begins from these words rolling from our lips. The important this is state it. Give clarifications. Make adjustments. Be open. Be vulnerable and proceed. It’s quite the easy procedure.
If you follow these 3 steps, you should be well on your way to a higher degree of communication and intimacy in your relationship. When you are polite, you will typically be met with kindness in return. For those who have tools which are agreeable to both of you before a heated conversation, you likely diminished the intensity by at least a third. And it’s fine to say I am sorry and be exposed. If we stay closed off, the best we can expect is a connection of small progress and shallow communication. And if you are still reading this. I am guessing you need more from your connection.