Q: I am getting married soon. People say that for a successful marriage you have to work at communicating. We talk (doesn’t everyone) so where is the ‘work’? Am I missing something?
A: It is easy to love someone when things are going your way, but the true test of love & maturity, comes when you weather the difficult times. Communication is the key to succeeding at this and making your marriage work.
You can be angry at someone and still love them. You can love someone & not like their behaviour but you must trust each other enough and have the courage & the will, to express your feelings in a loving way.
Communication is a 3 part process. There is talking, listening, and clarifying. The 1st part is the obvious—you have to talk and express your feelings.
But the 2nd part may be even more important—you have to listen to hear, not only what is being said but, to what is being meant and felt. Talking is no use if you each speak a different language and because you are 2 different people with different histories, and especially as you will be just getting to know one another, you will talk different languages. Here is an example of what I mean when I say you will talk different languages. If I tell you that I am going to buy a boat, you may picture a large yacht that sleeps 10 and I may mean a 2 seater row boat. You may think that I am being selfish while I may be wanting to share a very special experience with you.
This leads to the 3rd part, clarifying. This part is often forgotten—you must check out that what you understood, is what was meant. Find out that I mean a row boat before you go into a panic about the cost and the storage and expenses of our new yacht.. Communication is critical. Make sure you put the effort in that it needs.