We all know that effective communication is key to a successful marriage. That is the most common request I get from couples I work with. We hear and see it continually with any conversation on marriage.
But don't you find it interesting that there is no clear discussion on the solution to this problem? Why don't we have an understanding of the keys to communication so we can answer this problem?
I am about to do that!!! And I am about to do that with one picture.
Before you look at the picture below, though, I would like to sincerely request that you spend some time looking at this picture before you move on, answer the question in the picture before you read the rest of this article.
So what is the answer to the question? What is the message this picture is conveying?
Obviously what the picture is saying is it depends on your perspective, that both are correct. And the bigger point is you cannot solve any problem until you understand both perspectives. You cannot communicate effectively unless you understand your partner's perspective.
I remember reading the book To Kill A Mockingbird (Lee, 1960) as a kid, and there is one line from the book that I have used to this day.
"If you want to understand a man you have to walk in his shoes", if you want to understand your partner you have to look at things from your partner's perspective.
And then the question is how are you supposed to look at things from your partner's perspective, and I answer that question with the following quote.
When most people see that quote they focus on the Pursuit of Happiness part, but I am going to elaborate on the first part of the quote, Life and Liberty, as the keys to successful communication.
Life is a moral and religious issue, all life is precious, and the key to morality is empathy, or understanding your partner's feelings.
Liberty is a political issue, with the goal of equality, and the key to equality is respect, or understanding your partner's thoughts.
In other words, the key to a successful marriage is having empathy by understanding how your partner feels, and having respect, or understanding how your partner thinks.
If you can learn and implement the concepts of empathy and respect in your marriage you will absolutely understand the keys to effective communications with your partner.
Effective communication through empathy and respect is one of the most important concepts I teach couples I work with.
And don't forget to join the Marriage Support Group. I have started a Marriage Support Group on Facebook as a safe and private place for people to get help and advice in their marriages so they can learn how to create a lifelong marriage.
I would like to invite you to join the group.
Here is the link to join the group:
This interview summarizes my message.
1. Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. HarperCollins: 1960 (Perennial Classics edition: 2002).