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
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
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
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
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
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.
THE FIGHT IN WHICH THE MARRIAGE WINS
Fight In A Way In Which There Are No
Losers, Only A Compromised Couple.
A. Conflict in marriage is
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________
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
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
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
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
___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
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.
END OF COMMUNICATION SESSION III