We are having electronic communication upgrades at work and problems at home.  Which seems to be a good lead in to my thinking on communication in marriage.

When we had decided to get married my wonderful (soon to be) wife and I undertook a weekend called “Engaged Encounter”.  We were both living in the US at the time and while I had heard good things about the weekend neither of us knew how impacting it would be for us.

The nature of the weekend is to lead you through a series of exercises to help you communicate with one another on all sorts of important issues.   One of my oddest memories of the weekend is seeing other couples who should be discussing matters of importance not talking to one another, or even were arguing.  My wonderful wife and I just lapped it up as it helped us talk and focus on the one another.

I am not sure if it was here or somewhere else I first heard a statement along the lines of “you can not expect your spouse to be a mind reader”. Now I always thought I was a caring and considerate communicative person before this.  When at some points since I have received the dreaded comment from my wonderful wife “I am not a mind reader” I am reminded that I have not got there yet.

You see we often think people should know what we are thinking.  After all it is obvious isn’t it!!  I mean you know exactly what I am thinking now don’t you?  Or maybe not.

Imagine I sent you an email proposing an idea and I never had a reply.  What do I presume about you and the email?

1) You hated  the idea and did not want to offend me by saying so
2) You were so busy you never read it and your PA deleted it
3) You meant to speak to me about it at a good time when you have a chance but after 6 months still no chance has come up
4) You are still wading through your backlog of email.
5) I am on your blocked email list and you never received it
6) There was a technical difficulty and you never received it

What this shows is silence is not a form of communication – it is a form of miscommunication. I fill in the blanks.  Usually the wrong way.

I have slowly gained wisdom that it is better to communicate than not to.  To tell someone how you feel and to keep short accounts. So what do you communicate about most?  What do you avoid communicating about?

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