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Premarital Counseling Session III Communication In Marriage

When 2 people get married, there are six people that say I do.

1. The bride the person __thinks____________ she is.

2. The bride the __groom_________believes she is.

3. The ___bride_______ who she truly is.

4. The groom the person believes he is .

5. The groom the bride believes he is.

6. The __groom__________ as he actually is.

It's important for us in communication, to know which of the 2 of the six people are talking to each other.

Robert considered himself a pretty good husband. He had a lot of affection for his wife and knew that he loved her. He could not understand why it was he and Rachel seemed to be at odds with each other so much. Robert had tried to give her the best things he could. Robert and Rachel grew up in Cleveland. Rachel's family was very close to each other. Robert's family was more distant in their relationships to each other. They were married when they were 20. Shortly after their marriage, they were pregnant with their first child. Robert had family in Atlanta and his uncle told him he could get him a better job if he came down to Ga. Robert told him they would and that he could be there by the end of the month. Robert knew the move would be a good one for his family. They were in Atlanta by the end of the month. The car they were driving in Atlanta broke down several times. Robert and Rachel had $3,000.00 in a savings account that she had received as an inheritance from her grandfather after their marriage. Rachel often complained about the car breaking down. For her birthday, Robert decided to surprise his wife with another car. He knew it would be cheaper in the long run to pay cash and pay it back to their account rather than borrow the money at 12% interest. He believed he saved them a good $1,000.00 in the long run.

It wasn't long before Robert and Rachel had three children. Robert was working hard at his job, but wasn't making the kind of money he had hoped. When he came home he grabbed the paper until dinner time. After dinner, he watched a couple of tv shows until his wife finished the dishes. He began to notice a number of bad habits his wife was picking up. The house wasn't that clean when he got home. He was getting fed up with his wife's declining interest in sex, and lack of responsiveness during it. He told her how he felt and what he thought she needed to do in order to get their marriage on track. The more he tried to tell her what was best for the family, the more disrespectful of him she got with her sassy remarks. Some of the ideas his wife came up were totally ridiculous. He let her know it in order to help her see that what he was saying made more sense. Thank goodness he had his friends at work to hang with when he needed to talk. The meals seemed to be getting worse and worse. He could have cooked better meals than this. He was just getting sick of it all. Rachel acted as though she loved the children more than she cared for him. When he came home his wife looked more like a battle zone than the beautiful woman he had married. He could not understand why she dressed so poorly when he gave her sufficient money to dress herself up. After all he was doing for the family, he could not keep going on like this. One day he decided to come home and tell Rachel, he was not going to keep trying unless she decided to change. When he got home, there was a note on the table from Rachel saying she and the children were gone and would not be back. He thought Rachel was the most ungrateful woman that ever lived.

What did Robert do right? What did he do wrong? How did Rachel feel in this relationship? Where do you see a part of you in Robert? What could he do to get Rachel back? Will he and Rachel ever get back together again.

A. Communication is not one person saying ____something____________ and the other person saying something back.

1. A lion can roar and a bird could squawk in return but that does not mean communication took place.

2. Communication takes place only when I say what I _____intended__________ to say and the other person ____hears_________ what I intended to say.

a) Therefore problems in communication can result from __me____ not saying what I intended to say,

b) from the other person not ____hearing_________ what I said,

c) and from the other person hearing something that I did not _say____ .

B. We assume when we speak to another person, we are addressing a ___blank__________ sheet of paper in which our message gets written.

1. The reality is that our tone, our facial expressions, and our ___past_________ actions have a lot to do with what is written on that paper.

2. In addition, their _tone______, their previous interactions with us, and their _personal_________ experience with the words they hear will affect what they hear.

"Would you please take out the trash." Loaded or Unloaded

If we don't leave now, we'll be late. Loaded or Unloaded

C. Rules for ___Disagreeing______________.

1.. You do not____Know________everything about this person, their mind is subject to change. "I didn't say anything because I knew what you were going to say or do."

2. The words you used may not have conveyed the _____Meaning______, you

intended. Define the words that you use. "I don't want to go the movies tonight."

3. Try to listen to what the other person is saying, instead of __THINKING__________ what it is you want to say next.

4. Tell the other person what you think you ___HEARD________ them say, before responding.

5. You cannot assume that the other person's state of ____MIND________ is where you think it is. Give as much information as possible.

6. You must be ____HONEST___________ in your communication. Just because you are not verbally talking about something, does not mean that you are not talking about it. It's just harder to understand what you may be saying.

7. Try to listen to what the person may be saying beyond the _ WORDS_________ that are used.

Husband--Let's all go to the beach tomorrow

Wife--I hate going to the beach I don't want to go.

Husband. "You use to like the beach before we were married.

Husband--I'd like to spend Christmas at home this year.

Wife-- "You know I wanted us to go and spend the time with my family this year. You're just being selfish You think you're too good to be with my family.

In each situation, it may be better to ask why the person feels the way that he or she does, before letting the situation turn into an argument. There may be some real issues that could be worked out and a compromised reached.

8. Be willing to ____ADMIT__________ that what you thought you heard is not what they person intended to say.

9. Real communication takes place before we have ___TAKEN_________action and decided to do did something. If one person is doing the deciding and the other simply nodding after the fact, that's not communication.

10. Recognize that when you have done all that you thought you could to ___COMMUNICATE_______________, you may still fail, but that's not a reason to give up and stop trying.




Fight In A Way In Which There Are No Losers, Only A Compromised Couple.

A. Conflict in marriage is ___INEVITABLE___________.

1. The goal is not to avoid conflict, but to learn how to ____MANAGE____________ it.

a. It is a challenge to make marry work.

2. Conflict is a ____ABSOLUTE_______________necessary part of every marriage for as long as that marriage lasts.

a. If there is no conflict, or if conflict suddenly slows down or levels off, it is a sign that something is _____WRONG___________ with the marriage.

b. When two people are true to themselves, it is very unlikely that they are going to __AGREE________ on everything

B. If two people ___AGREE_____ on everything, then there's no need for one of the two.

1. We are unique ___INDIVIDUALS____________. The more we authentic we are with each other, the more differences that are going to show up.

C. Marriage is to be a  _____PLACE__________ for each person to bring in ideas, attitudes, and approaches to situation.

1. Conflict that is managed will ____BUILD_____ a marriage.

2. Conflict that is mismanaged will __DESTROY_____ a marriage.







Rules For Positive Marital Conflict Management


Yes Together You Can Do It!

Rule No 1. Marriage is a ___WIN-WIN______ proposition. There is know argument worth destroying you marriage over. The issue is how can we reach a compromise on this situation. Look at the pro's and cons of both positions on paper, and try to even argue for the other person's side.

Rule No. 2 If something is ____WRONG_______________ you, let the other person know about it as soon as possible. There's nothing good about prolonged conflict. You are not called to endure something as long as possible. It is best to get things out in the open and deal with it.

Rule No. 3. Limit your disagreement to _______ONE  TOPIC __________________ at a time by sticking to the subject of the argument. It is unproductive to start bringing in other topics that are not related to the issue at hand. The comments will be distracting and keep you from reaching a resolution.

Rule No. 4. Never start calling the other person __NAMES___________and don't use profanity. To do either will never help solve the problem. It is nothing more than an attempt to demean the other person and make him or her less than human. Couples should pledge to each other, no matter how intense it may get, there will be no name-calling.

Rule No. 5. Avoid calling the other person's ___IDEAS__________ as stupid, dumb, bird brained and the rest. That does not make it any less of an idea. Deal with the strengths and weaknesses of the position rather than trying to find a label to put on it. Remember the person's choice of a mate reflects his or her own reasoning power.

Rule No. 6. Avoid saying you ____NEVER________, you ___ALWAYS_________, you all the time, and the like. Deal with the one time at hand and be specific rather than lumping all behavior in the same sentence.

Rule No. 7 Avoid saying __YOU____make me, you made me, and __YOU______ caused me, and in turn say I felt ___THIS_________ when you did, said etc. You are adults so take ownership of your feelings.

Rule No 8 Turn up your ____LEVEL OF _______________ sensitivity. Nothing helps better in a conflict than to know that the other person is understanding what you are saying.

Rule No. 9 If the other person says you're getting too ___LOUD_________, you're probably getting to loud and need to lower your discussion level. If the person says, I need some time to calm down, give the person the time to calm down. The person who asked for the calm down period should be adult enough to reopen the discussion.

Rule No. 10. Don't say the ___ISSUE____________ is resolved if it isn't. Don't say you're fine when you're not. The other person will feel betrayed if you continue to bring it up in a different way. Once you have forgiven each other, that event should not show its head in any future conflicts. Make sure you have enough time to handle the conflict and the correct place to handle it.

Rule No. 11. Recognize that are some things you will not see eye to eye on, and agree that it is ____OKAY_________ for you to see the same event in different ways without one of you having to be proven wrong.

Rule No. 12. Practice ___GIVE________ and take. The more practice you have of giving to the other person, the sooner conflict will be resolved in the relationship.

Rule No. 13. Celebrate the _____VICTORIES_____________ you have over your conflicts.

Rule No. 14. Always remember, you determine how

___LONG______ conflict lasts. A bad day does not have to turn into a bad evening. Even a bad evening can be changed into a good one if both of you want it.

Rule No. 15. Remember, the person may not be against your __IDEA_________, as much as the person needs some time to think about the idea. Be willing to give the person time. The rejection of an idea is not the same thing as a rejection of the person. Don't think the person has rejected you, because s/he does not share your viewpoint on some issue.

Rule No 16. Vow not to ____ATTACK_________ each other in the midst of the conflict either verbally, emotionally or physically. This does nothing to resolve the conflict and it weakens the bonds of love, trust, and respect in the relationship.

Rule No. 17. Commit yourself to _____PRAY__________ to God each night before you go to sleep, and thank God in your prayers for your spouse. God is a good third party for us to take our conflicts. End each day with a clean slate. You don't know what is going to come up tomorrow.



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Last modified: 02/16/12