When you wish to share something with your spouse, invite them to talk, first.
They might be involved in something else and are unable or unwilling to interrupt what they are doing in the moment.
Starting to talk without an invitation may put them in a bind. They don’t wish to disappoint you.
They may be available to talk later, just not now.

So, invite them with a, “Do you have time to talk?” Allow them to respond to your invitation with a, “Yes, and I need about half an hour more. I’ll come and get you when I’m done. Thanks.”

After your business’ mission statement, communication is the lifeblood of your enterprise; management to staff, staff to employees, and everyone to clients and customers.
Over time, given the nature of human beings, communication breakdowns are inevitable. Negativity creeps into your workplace, staffers and employees stop talking, stop cooperating and confusion arises. Where teamwork and cooperation once flourished silence grows. Customer fulfillment and satisfaction suffers. They stop communicating with you.

You lose clients. You lose business. Contact us today.

One of the concerns I often hear from female clients is something like the following: “I am not sure I know the man I married. Oh, we have all the normal things that go along with a marriage: our home 2 plus children, money in the bank, careers and so forth. And yet, I have feeling that there is something missing. I find myself growing lonely in our marriage. Communication, a deeper communication, seems to be missing for me.

When he returns home after a day’s work, I want to reconnect with him, to restart our relationship after our absence from one another and I want him to want to reconnect with me, interested in hearing about my day. But that’s not the way it goes for us.

Whenever I’ve asked him, “How was your day, dear?” most of the time he says something like, “Fine. Okay. Things went well. No problems.” If I press him for more details, he looks either confused or gives me a look that says that there is something wrong with me for asking. He gives me much the same look when I try to share my day with him.
Sometimes it seems to me that he doesn’t care. Oh, on some level I know that can’t possibly be true – but what he chooses to share is all the information I have to go on.”
In the next part of this blog “Why is she bothering me?” we’ take a look at her male partner’s perspective on the very same issue.

Men (but not only men) have what we might call a more “Workplace communication style” designed to collaborate, identify and solve problems, to achieve and accomplish goals together. When one man approaches another man in the workplace it must be because he needs something from him. If there is silence in the workplace – that is good news, all must be going well. If there is chatter – there must be something to be addressed. Silence is Golden.
In marriages this communication style will not work. Quite the opposite. With our marriage partners Silence may be deadly, toxic.
When men decline to share their day, thoughts, experiences our partner’s minds may begin to fill in the blanks with “He doesn’t care,” “I don’t matter,” or worst yet, “Who is he talking to if it is not me? Who is he seeing?”

It may be awkward at first, but it is imperative that partners communicate, open up, share, support one another. Workplace communication belongs in the workplace not in the home.

How do we rebuild trust when it is gone? (Part one)

We know that words have no value when it comes to reestablishing our partner’s trust.
We hear, “Talk is cheap” “Actions speak louder than words,” “I simply don’t believe you.”
So, how may we rebuild their faith in us? Can we be forgiven?
Towards rebuilding trust, look at what we might call a “Staircase to Forgiveness.” The higher up we go the more your partner’s faith and trust may be, might be restored.
The Staircase to Forgiveness:
• “I’m sorry” has a negative value when your goal is rebuilding Trust that has been broken, or shattered. Nobody has believed our, “I’m sorry” since childhood. So why say it?
• “I apologize” – heads us in a positive direction. However, our partner still is not sure what it is we are apologizing for.
(Part two next week)

Part one: a female life partner’s point of view..

One of the concerns I hear from female clients is something like the following: “I am not sure I know the man I married. What I mean is on the surface all seems “fine.” We have all the normal things that go along with a marriage: our home 2 plus children, money in the bank, careers and so forth. And yet, I have feeling that there is something missing. I find myself growing lonely in our marriage. Marriage communication, a deeper communication, seems to be missing for me.

When he returns home after a day’s work, I want to reconnect with him, to restart our relationship after our absence from one another and I want him to want to reconnect with me, interested in hearing about my day. But that’s not the way it goes for us.

Whenever I’ve asked him, “How was your day, dear?” most of the time he says something like, “Fine. Okay. Things went well. No problems.” If I press him for more details, he looks either confused or gives me a look that says that there is something wrong with me for asking.” He gives me much the same look when I try to share my day with..

Sometimes it seems to me that he doesn’t care. Oh, on some level I know that can’t possibly be true – but what he chooses to share is all the information I have to go on.”

In the next part of this marriage counseling blog “Why is she bothering me?” we’ take a look at her male partner’s perspective on the very same issue.

Relationships thrive within a WE-ality, not a ME-ality
The key to creating an Extraordinary Relationship lies in developing your capacity to go from a ME-based life to a WE-based life. Up to and until the moment you entered into a relationship with another, the language you spoke, the choices you made about how and where you live, and how you spent your time and money came largely from within you. You made choices taking into account personal wishes and desires. Until you entered into a relationship with another, you were accountable to and one hundred percent responsible—to, you. If you made a mistake, the consequences were yours and yours alone.

However, the minute your life merged with another, the context of your life had to undergo a radical shift of focus and language. Where once you spoke from within a context of “I, ME, and MINE,” you now had to learn a new language of “WE, US, and OURS.”

ME-based conversations are full of ME, MY feelings, MY experiences, MY needs, MY wants, and how I am being frustrated by YOU.

For example, ME-based language sounds like: “You are not making ME happy, there’s something wrong with you; MY needs are not being met. YOU never listen. “If only THEY would… then I would be happy.” In ME-based relationships one ME based partner complains, the other defends, feelings get hurt, arguments escalate, and the temperature grows hotter. The ME based relationship spirals downwards from there.

But what if we shifted the way WE talk about our relationships from ME-based language to WE-based language, such that “I, ME, MINE, and YOURS” becomes “WE, US, and OURS?”

How would our relationships feel were we to say, “WE are not making ME happy; the way WE communicate with one another is not working for US; OUR needs as a couple are not being met?”

Isn’t it easier to hear our partner when they say, “WE are not making ME happy,” “There something about US, the way WE speak and listen to each other that isn’t working for US.” Isn’t “WE need to take a close look at how effectively WE are doing US”much easier to hear than, “If only YOU would…then I would be happy?”

With a simple shift in the way WE talk about ourselves, we’ve taken our partners off the hot seat; we’ve stopped making them the one responsible for our feelings and upsets. When our partner no longer has to stop listening to defend themselves in the face of our upsets and dissatisfactions—then WE can shift our attention to where it belongs, to US, about WE and what is going on between US. Once WE have accomplished this, WE can begin to clarify, discuss, and focus on the relationship WE share. WE can listen to one another in a way that will make a difference for US and the future of OUR relationship.

As a WE, speaking with rather than at one another, WE have a chance to listen to our partner in a way that makes a difference for US. With our relationship at stake, WE can look for what is missing; WE can uncover new ways of being with and for one another that would transform us from struggling individuals to extraordinary life-partners. With our new set of WE-based skills, WE have an opportunity to be extraordinarily happy together for the rest of our lives.

Relationships thrive within a WE-ality, not a ME-ality.

Are you beginning to dread the upcoming holiday season?

Have you begun to think, “I just do not know how I am going to sit and smile at them for one more year,” or, “Am I going have to have to pretend to get along with her, again?” or, “Oh gee whiz, another Christmas with him?.”

If you are beginning to feel those questions you may have a case of MAS, or Mistletoe Avoidance Syndrome. If one of the “those people” happens to be your spouse, you may be looking at some serious trouble with Spouse Avoidance Syndrome (SAS).

The good news is that there is still time before you have to smile and pretend that everything is “fine;” you have a whole month to “spruce up” family relationships before you have avoid that person beneath the mistletoe; you have two solid months to make Auld Lang Syne really mean something when you sing together New Year’s Eve.

The bad news is that if you don’t do anything you are looking at a replay of last year. The worst news is that if you do nothing at all you can look forward to another holiday season just like this one, next year.

It is not too late; it is not too late to take an inventory of relationships that don’t work and repair broken lines of communication in and around your family.

Right warms no beds; truth is a cold companion. Whatever lies between you and them, real or imaginary, is in the past.

What will matter is your relationship with them in the coming months and years.

What there is to do is to reach out and touch someone, start a dialog, swallow a gallon of pride, and apologize; ask for forgiveness wherever and whenever you can – even if you were right.

Paradoxically, they may very well be waiting for you to call them. So why not call first – and get to be the hero for being the one who got the ball rolling again?

If the person you are dreading being with is your spouse, stop now. Stop whatever you have been doing (it hasn’t worked, has it?), and get yourselves to a relationship repair professional: a counselor, a pastor, or another person with whom you feel safe.

Einstein reminds us that insanity is,” Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Looked at in another way, shopping for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza gifts is a whole lot easier when you actually like the person you are shopping for.

There is no good reason to suffer any longer than it takes for you to realize that you are suffering from

Mistletoe Avoidance Syndrome.

Reach out and touch someone; add some serious warmth to the coming season of Joy.

One of the keys to communication is invitation.

When you wish to share something with your spouse, invite them to talk, first. They might be involved in something else and are unable or unwilling to interrupt what they are doing in the moment.

Starting to talk without an invitation may put them in a bind. They don’t wish to disappoint you.

They may be available to talk later, just not now.

So, invite them with a, “Do you have time to talk?” Allow them to respond to your invitation with a, “Yes, and I need about half an hour more. I’ll come and get you when I’m done.

Has this ever happened to you? Driving your car, you discover that not only are you well past your exit; you are a number of miles further down the road!

You wonder, “Where am I? How did I get here?”

Or, have you ever woken up one morning next to your partner, lover, or spouse, shaking your head and wondering, “Who is that next to me?”

Your confusion was real. The source of your confusion is your brain. Your car and your relationship were both on cruise control, both operating on autopilot.

Don’t get the wrong idea. There is nothing wrong with your brain. It was only doing the job for which it was designed, good at some tasks, not so good for others. For example, your brain is good for learning and recalling – but not so good at helping you handle the unexpected or surprises.

In relationships as in driving, zoning out, taking a break, switching off your conscious awareness can get you an expensive relationship “citation” – or a front-seat to the next dramatic breakdown in your relationship.

Using relationship cruise control to drive your life, taking your partner for granted, pretending you understand when you haven’t a clue, being inauthentic, failing to be aware of and present to the people around you – are all breakdowns waiting to happen.

Ask yourself: “Am I in the driver’s seat – or a passenger on my own bus? “

Marriage and Communication coaching is about providing skills, insights, and best practices for enjoying extraordinary relationships.

Call Paul at (520) 297-3085 for your first Marriage and Communication Tune-up.