Monday, April 14, 2008

marriage counseling

communication is the prime necessity in any relationship.

having attended several workshops, Amalia and i have seen the bitter ends of relationships where the couple hadn't communicated effectively in 10-plus years,
and it isn't fun and certainly isn't a happy time.

relationships are a funny thing. most relationships start out of chance meetings that blossom rather rapidly into significant time spent together.

with your friends, you've probably had years to communicate your feelings, but in romantic relationships the get-to-know-each-other phase is accelerated in proportion to the time spent together. thus communication is crucial to the health of the relationship.

we all arrive into relationships carrying our world-view with baggage.

recognizing that mental baggage has a direct affect on the ability to communicate effectively and efficiently, it is important that each individual first seek truthful introspection. meaning that you must strive to come to peace with your past and your present in order to give your relationship a future.

one exercise we learned helped eliminate listening issues projected by the self. we sat in a large circle in a yurt overlooking the ocean, each couple sitting facing each other knees to knees. when prompted one of us would start a two-minute diatribe sparked by some beginning phrase, such as, "I feel angry when...".

after the time allotted, the other one of us would start with the phrase, "what I heard you say was...," followed by a recanting of all that you had heard said. once you had finished restating as much as you remembered, you would then ask, "did I hear you correctly?" if not, the speaker simply stated, "No," without explanation; thereby leaving you to continue rehashing your understanding until correct.

we now use this method to both understand and to be heard correctly without tempers flaring and or indignation rearing its ugly head.

have you really heard your partner? do you understand the history shaping his or her world-view?

another important aspect i learned that afternoon was that feeling heard diminishes anger and resentment very significantly. sometimes just being heard is sufficient to make the issue vanish from care.

these types of interchange are crucial to the relationship's healthy growth. they serve as insights into the other's perspective, making his or her actions understandable. to understand is to gain respect for their opinions, making them as weighty as yours.

effective communication takes work to start but the end results are a life blessed with love.

love is respect-in-action. to love fully, communicate truthfully without hesitation.

*the above mentioned exercise was part of a Warren Farrell workshop we attended. see the side post of interesting links to find out about Mr. Farrell, or click HERE.

1 comment:

dguzman said...

Hi p-d: first, thanks for stopping by my blog; second--thanks for this post! My partner and I are going through a rough time (she's dealing with childhood sexual abuse, and being raped as an adult), and we're just on the front end of what promises to be years of work. All this after 6 relatively happy years together. This exercise looks like it would really help us.

I like your blog--again, thanks!