October 1, 2017
October 1, 2017

Is It Communication?

Clients tell me that their problem is communication. When I ask for details of the dispute, it is not communication that is the problem.

The problem when investigated can be:
different values,
different upbringing,
different morals,
gender differences,
a power struggle,
fears of being unloved, abandoned, rejected, etc.,
competitive issues between the couple,
mental, physical or emotional issues of either one or both.
The above list is probably not complete, but those factors have been the most predominant ones that I have encountered.

Communication must take in the actual issues that are being discussed. If the discussion is too much or too little sex, for example. Sex is not the issue. The issue is how does each person feel about the type of intimacy that they are experiencing with each other. But more importantly is the intimacy satisfying each partner or only one of the team? Does each individual understand where the other person is emotionally? That may seem to be a redundant question but it not.

If one of the partners treats sex as a sport, the other partner may not relate to sex as love. Therefore while the sport/sex partner may believe that the exchange is equal, it is not received as equal. In a sense this is the basis of communication. Whenever we attempt to present our point of view, we must be willing to exchange equal feedback.

Unfortunately, as soon as another person does not fully experience or understand where the mate is coming from, anger starts to take over. Love and anger do not live well together.

Therefore, when communication breaks down, the first attempt to develop understanding is to ask questions and listen to the answer. Again, unfortunately, this is the second mistake that is made. Either one person is defensive about the answer or attacking the other person because it is not the response that was expected or wanted or understood.

However, until the issue of the basic understanding of each other is resolved, no real solution can be found.

Therefore communication should be approached with an open mindedness to try to accept and comprehend the other's point of view.

Only then, can the communication skills be utilized to resolve the issues because the actual issues are being discussed and dismissed. The couple can then work on resolution techniques.