Based on my own personal relationship experience and current situation, communication is definitely the key factor to successfulness, and can lead to serious mistrust and deception in cases that lack it.
When each partner brings their own views to the table, however, it isn’t always positively conveyed. This can manifest negative retaliation. Unity involves sacrifices on both ends for togetherness to be mutual and in setting a common ground, to accomplish goals.
Some concerns, according to Joan Emerson, a New York psychologist who specializes in relationship and couples therapy; involves partners being over critical, disappointment with partner, too demanding and feeling of misunderstood just to name a few.
Couples therapy should create a safe haven for both parties to share their emotions and feelings; in efforts to help them better comprehend each other, assist with listening skills and so on.
Statistics, as well as personal experience prove that when in a relationship, the partners involved are usually on different wave lengths – when people differ, so does their ways of viewing and seeing things.
Most family conflicts (even extended families) are over how the children should be handled, money, housework, even intimacy.
People usually hold their feelings in, in hopes of avoiding conflict, but these issues need to be addressed in ways that leads to positive outcomes. There are programs in place to help partners communicate calmly when talking about emotionally charged topics. This allows partners to treat each other with sensitivity and respect. One listens while the other is given the platform to freely speak, allowing the speaker to articulate their feelings without resentment or worry of any emotional reactions; such as defensiveness, criticism or anger. Speaker is given the freedom without interruptions.
Responses should be with remarks like “tell me more” or “what else?” This allows for the speaker’s pent up feelings to come forth.
Listening in itself is an acquired skill and at appropriate times, interjections can positively reinforce (“so you’re saying that…?” and “I understand”).
Being empathetic while communicating that empathy can is also useful. Rewards help the ongoing communications grow and validate that it’s not crazy for feeling the way they do.
A successful listener isn’t an easy task, since naturally the will and urge to express your own side is inevitable as well as defensive actions. But a good listener is far easier than being a good speaker, especially in reference to emotions.
As an emotional creature, either action is easy for me, but the care must be invested into not hurting the other’s feelings which can result in retreating and an extent of solitude.
Information acquired from:
Relationship expert Joan Emerson
Couples section of Brooklyn Family written by Joan Emerson