The Reason Why Some Marriages Fall Apart, Or End In Divorce, Isn’t What You Think
You’re thinking, it’s the kids, money, infidelity, in-laws, falling out of love…all roads lead to divorce. Your marriage is falling apart, it’s splitssville. Forget separation, it’s over. We’re heading for divorce.
Yes, all the above circumstances do lead to the demise of many nuptials or partnerships, and may even contribute to being early deal-breakers, but they’re not the number one reason. The number reason why marriages breakdown or fail, is communication. Not just communication as you know, but effective communication, and connection. Oh there’s much, much more to the art of communication than just being able to convey and idea. How you do that can often be more influential, telling, making, or breaking. Tone, affect, the words you choose, the space you occupy, and your goal, all determine how successful you’ll be at inviting someone into a conversation, or bullying them into it. It’s the difference between success, and failure, and with communication, your goal always needs to be benefit-benefit.
Often, we think whoever yells louder or speaks tougher is the better communicator, but we know, and we all well know, this only leads to louder yelling and more animated behaviour, where the goal becomes that elusive “win’. Effective Communication? No. The most successful communicators are, in fact, those who speak calmly, thoughtfully, and respectfully. They don’t ever raise their voices, use inappropriate language, or behave with affect that is overbearing or intimidating. Neither are they quick to react. In fact, react they don’t. They respond, after they’ve taken time to think.
There’s a goal in mind, and know they don’t need to use bravado or overbearingness to get what they want. Effective and successful communicators know, that in order to reach agreement, respect, validation, and acknowledgment are part of the deal, and so they offer it. This is the enrolment. There’s no cunningness involved, only a desire to be heard. When you feel heard, your chances of reaching an agreement are that much greater, right. Great communicators are practiced and experienced at having learned all the important and necessary aspects of communication in order to have a successful conversation, without imploding, exploding, and going in for a ‘win’.
Your approach needs a plan. Your foray into any kind of communication must be built on boundaries and goals. The key here is, you set the tone, and is done when asking yourself, ‘what do I want to accomplish?’ You don’t want to win. Anger, resentment, and stress aren’t your friends, so timing also becomes a key element in the art of conversation. Your goal is benefit-benefit, to get what you want, and to give the other person all the positivity and understanding you can. Is it alright to disagree? Of course, but it must be done so respectfully, within the realms of conversation and communication. Communication is a two-way street. It’s give and take. Not take and take. Timing, plays an element here as well, and within the plan has to be consideration of timing. If you, or they, are hot under the collar, you may want to wait. And wait some more. Remember, your goal is benefit-benefit.
You want to be heard. This is the essence, the core, of any engagement in communication. You will not be heard, and then validated and acknowledged, when you go in for the kill, guns a ‘blazin. Nothing good, ever, comes from being in the ‘heat of the moment’, when you’re fuming, aggressive, frustrated, or going for the jugular. All you’re doing here is inviting pushback; defence and offence. That’s a bad combination and, the perfect recipe for disaster. You’ve lost the battle before having given yourself a chance to begin. Go in with a positive mindset. Commit to the commitment of communicating calmly, and stick with that. Give more of what you want, and leave Ego at the door. If you can’t approach a conversation with calm, reasonability, and a clear, rational mind, wait. Once everyone is calm, begin. You’ll converse more successfully, and you’re more likely to be heard, validated, and acknowledged. Goal accomplished. You’ll be talking. Conversing. Effectively, and successfully.
…And there it is. With a little practice, a bit more listening, validation and acknowledgement, your marriage or partnership can be a bit further from failure or more struggle, and a lot closer to being more connected and feeling more whole. Cheers, to a happier, more connected, and communicative marriage. You, and your family, will thank for it.
If you need more help or support, I’m here for you.