AVOID COMMUNICATION MELTDOWNS – THE LEADING CAUSE OF DIVORCE – WHILE SETTING YOUR MARRIAGE UP FOR SUCCESS
Are you invested in setting your marriage up for success? Would you like to avoid the bad habits that slowly rot away a relationship until resentment sets in like a colony of termites, eating away at the foundation of your marriage? You may think that the stressors you feel mounting between you and your beloved will disappear after the wedding ceremony, and you will live “happily ever after.”
The secret that communication experts won’t tell you: The foundation of good communication is built during the wedding planning process. If communication is one-sided, such as the bride being more responsible for decision-making than the groom, it sets up the bad habit of lazy communication. Lazy communication means you aren’t building the house of your marriage on a solid foundation but instead on quicksand. Your ship of dreams is destined to get lost and then sunk in the Bermuda Triangle of Anger.
The main reason most marriages fail is the absence of communication that leads to lack of compromise. This, then, leads to relationship depression, which results from a lack of change. Communication habits are born during the wedding planning process! One-sided communication during the wedding planning process kills off the chances of your long-term success. When relationship partners are depressed by the stress of the misunderstandings that result from lack of effective communication, they grow apart. The wall that develops between the couple leads to separation in every sense of the word.
One bad habit is avoiding discussing difficult issues, which results in no resolutions forthcoming. Good communication, and hence a good marriage, takes work. After all, marital life is a two-way communication highway! Beware: Resentments quietly and quickly add up and act as anchors that weigh a couple down, causing disengagement and laziness.
So, both the bride and groom must be assertive communicators from the get-go of the planning process, if they want to have an insurance policy against divorce. The key to your success? Knowing whether you are an Empathizer or an Instigator communicator. (To find out what your or your partner’s communication type is, just go to http://www.drogrady.com/whats-your-type/ for a short assessment and free analysis.)
You Empathizers likely find that your I-type partner appreciates your eagerness to reach a compromise in a difficult situation. Also appreciated is the fact that you have the ability to put yourself in their position, keeping you from being too quick to judge. However, your Instigator counterpart may find it difficult to relate to your passive-aggressive tendencies. With this in mind, try being straight to the point with your Instigator partner about what you perceive a problem to be, since the I-type better understands when things are concise and to the point. Ask, “What is your opinion on…?”
Instigator types, you will find that your Empathizer partners appreciate how organized and focused you are in finding solutions to problems. The E-type also appreciates how driven you are when you are working to accomplish a task. However, your E-type counterpart might become upset when they perceive that you aren’t listening. Try to listen actively to what is being said, repeating from time to time what you hear your partner saying, just so they know you are listening. Ask, “What can I do to help? I get frustrated when you go on and on about your feelings but don’t tell me what you need.”
Good communication habits, such as listening without interrupting, giving verbal appreciation to your partner, going the extra mile to walk in the talk shoes of your partner, taking time together to explore differing emotional beliefs, fighting fairly (no blaming/name calling/back turning/sarcasm/complaining to friends, etc.), profit the relationship and deepen closeness, loyalty, and bonding. Set these habits up now, before making one more wedding plan! Your marriage ceremony isn’t nearly as important as positive marital communication.
Bad habits create meltdowns or explosions. Like a volcano that erupts, when your partner has a blow-up, the lava and ash will burn everyone…and some injuries can be too large to heal or get over.
BOTH OF YOU NEED AND DESERVE TO BE HEARD, SUPPORTED, AND ENCOURAGED TO KEEP YOUR COMMUNICATION UP TO PAR. REMEMBER, BAD COMMUNICATION HABITS NOW WILL ONLY GET WORSE LATER, WHEREAS GOOD COMMUNICATION HABITS NOW WILL ONLY GET BETTER AS TIME GOES ON.
You do want to be better, not bitter, communicators, don’t you? Congratulations on using million dollar talk tools that work wonders!
TALK2ME: SAYING “I DO” TO GOOD COUPLES COMMUNICATION
‘Talk Doc’ Dr. Dennis O’Grady is a communications psychologist and relationship counselor and coach from Dayton, Ohio. Talk to Dennis about free communication sessions at 937-428-0724.