The Joy of An Ex - Communication Skills

By: Jackie Rahmler | Posted: 26th May 2011

Copyright (c) 2011 Jackie Ramler

Keeping within the context of this resource, communication should be understood as being a dynamic process of interaction between two people sharing a marital-like relationship. The degree to which a couple has a foundation of respectful and understanding communication is an indicator of the strength of their union. When misunderstanding and an unwillingness to 'hear' the other person replaces positive interaction, it is likely that conflict will result. Effective communication skills and the commitment to use them usually lead to the resolution of conflict. If two people choose to disregard their bond, they will begin to hear and see only what they want. The messages they send will be incomplete and received by the other with misunder-standing, often ending in misrepresentation.

The communicative sharing between two people occurs in various ways including not only verbal or spoken, with its particular delivery, but non-vocal expression and physical contact as well. The way in which people say things to each other with various tones and volumes will affect the meaning of a message in a myriad of ways. The use of certain facial expressions and particular body gestures, when sending messages, can dramatically alter how usually simple messages are interpreted. A silent and fleeting glance, thought of as a steely glare, gives rise to a painful exchange of hurtful words erupting from a simple misunderstanding.

The expectations and assumptions people carry frequently contribute to the creation of false perceptions. These unintended messages interfere with the continuation of a satisfying relationship and serve to challenge the strength of the marriage.

The perception that spouses are no longer communicating effectively with each other is often triggered by what is not seen or heard, rather than by a partner's actual deeds and words. Two people who are no longer attentive nor are able to initiate conversation at ease with each other become startled by the sudden sense of distance. A simple smile or light touch, now absent, signals a change in the quality and substance of their communication.

Couples can protect their relationships by reflecting on the notion that marriages need nurturing and attention. There is no automatic and there is no given in a partnership so complex that very few of us are able to maintain it effectively. The importance associated with having good listening skills in any relationship can never be overstated. The ability to send clear and direct messages while at the same time being respectful of, and sensitive to, the receiver, is a talent that is highly regarded.

The act of sharing feelings and emotions without offending the other is often achieved through self-reflection and the use of 'I' statements. These are comments that describe attitudes or ideas carrying ownership for one's experience. They carry neither blame nor the attribution of responsibility to the other the way 'you' statements do. "I feel sad when we fight about money issues" is less likely to create conflict than "You hurt me when you tell me I spend too much money on clothes shopping".

The realization that your interests are not always the same as your spouse's can serve a couple's relationship in immeasurable ways. The active participation in conversations with a partner that are of marginal importance to you but excite the other will promote a reciprocal exchange of communication that generates mutual satisfaction and understanding.

The use of touch by a spouse carries with it the magic that two caring people understand the value of when it communicates the love and sensitivity that each desires. This becomes particularly evident when the gesture becomes less frequent.

There is no expectation that two people in a marriage-like relationship will always be able to communicate positively, without conflict or discomfort. A commitment to understand this reality and to actively guard against selfish interests eroding the essence of the relationship is the strongest shield protecting their bond.


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Tags: interaction, sending messages, relationship, perception, continuation, misunderstanding, myriad, misrepresentation, conflict, marriage, facial expressions, assumptions, effective communication skills, hurtful words, body gestures