Communication can be divided into two types:
Social Communication – It’s general chatting about the days events and personal interests. It’s the lubricant of social interaction and a very necessary and important thing for building a relationship.
Problem Solving – This is the one most couples have trouble with, it is the ability to resolve issues and create solutions. Until both of you have worked out a way to come to terms with differences, then there is always the risk that the unresolved issues will overwhelm the relationship.
PROBLEM SOLVING EXERCISE
- Write down all your upsets/considerations.
- Arrange a mutually convenient time to discuss them.
- First person reads out their list without interruption. Second person listens and does not speak until all upsets have been read out. Second person has the right of reply, they may or may not reply to any of the things read out. Sometimes listening is enough.
- Now reverse procedure, second person reads, first person listens and/or replies.
- After this has finished both parties may now discuss anything they think has not been dealt with.
- 50 minute rule – This entire exercise can not take more than 50 minutes. If the time is up and things have not been resolved then they are put on the list and brought up at the next discussion time. Usually between one day to a week away. If the discussion takes more than 50 minutes then there is usually too much emotion and recrimination.
- Acknowledge three positive things about each other. Give each other a hug. Try to finish on a positive note.