Secrets Of Attraction & Love: Part 2


Message of Love

We all know divorce is a problem in our society. But my question to you, dear reader and single Catholic is, how does a couple get to that point? How did they go from being totally in love to hating every moment with each other?

 

God did not create marriage to be a prison! He created it to be a union of trust and happiness for the good of the spouses, so obviously something happened to cause that perfect storm where the “D” word was introduced. Almost every time, the underlying culprit is communication (or lack thereof).

 

This issue of how couples need to communicate with each other is a massive subject, one that many people have written volumes about, given seminars on and taught classes about. My goal with this article is not to compete with that, but just to focus your attention on this important aspect of relationships. If you can begin cultivating your art of communication now in your dating relationships, then when you are married, you will already have a head-start on creating harmony in your home.

 

Communication Is An Art Form

 

Make no mistake about it. It takes effort to communicate well and so few people take the time to make that effort.

 

I was at a kid’s birthday party recently and observed the grownups chatting. The first thing I noticed was none of what was being said was really conversation, it was all just talking. No one was asking any questions of each other or taking an interest in what the other was saying. They were just talking at each other about their kids or their careers or their recent experience at the hairdresser. I didn’t hear anyone ask something like, “So, how did that work out for you?” or, “Are you feeling better now?” or even a compliment on the new hairdo. Everyone just talked about themselves; “Me, me, me.” Try that in a serious relationship or marriage and conversation will dry up quickly. And sadly, too many people use that as an excuse to divorce. “We just didn’t have anything to talk about anymore.”

 

So, communication between couples has to be cultivated in the present and over time. It’s about understanding the differences in the way men and women communicate with each other. For example:

 

  • Men navigate through life with their heads; women nurture life with their hearts.

  • Men normally are concerned with the bigger picture, while women are concerned with the details.

  • Men need very little time before intimacy, but women need time to feel totally loved and totally secure.

 

These are God-given traits that compliment each other. It’s important to recognize the Good Relationship Communicationrole these differences play in having healthy communication.

  

Here are a few tips you can integrate into your relationship immediately: 

  

  • When your date tells you about a problem or difficult situation, just listen. Don’t offer a solution, don’t criticize, just acknowledge them with brief statements like, “I’m sorry about that” or “That must have been difficult for you.” Anything that shows you are paying attention to what they are saying. After that, if he or she asks for help in finding a solution, go for it. That means you’ve earned their trust.

 

  • Use the word “and” instead of “but” as often as you can. For example, instead of saying, “I know you work hard at your job but when we’re out together, you can’t seem to talk about anything else,” you might try, “I love the fact that you share what’s important to you with me, and I’m interested to know more about what you and I have in common outside of work.”

 

  • When a disagreement begins, don’t be afraid of it. Relationships are boring if everyone agrees on everything 100% of the time. But you need to take a step back and listen instead of jumping to defend your position. Let your date say all that needs to be said before you comment. Then, ask questions: “Why do you feel that way?” “Why is that important to you?” etc. When your date is finished, speak your mind in a way that genuinely expresses your feelings; not in a condescending or impatient manner.

 

Communicating well is critical to making a relationship last. If you make the effort to understand each other and communicate your ideas, opinions, and feelings with charity and sincerity, you will be building a firm foundation for your future.

 

As always, please feel free to email me at asklisa@catholicmatch.com or respond below. I always enjoy receiving your comments.






19 Comments

  1. Lisa,

    You state, “If you can begin cultivating your art of communication now in your dating relationships, …”.

    That’s wonderful, except those divorced and NOT annulled can’t. So, most of those conversations divorced non-annulleds have (if they have any because dating is not allowed) are swallow and produce nothing of value.

    Pretty gloomy situation, if you ask me.

    Stephen

    • Stephen,

      You can still work on the art of communication with friends and family, yes?

      - Lisa

      • Lisa, Probably should have, based on this – “This issue of how couples need to communicate with each other is a massive subject, one that many people have written volumes about, given seminars on and taught classes about.” – quote, asked: What is a good understandable and short book on the subject with lots of examples because, at 63 the friends you talk to I have been talking to for years and family, one daughter has sided with her mother and the other (18) thinks and talk like me – not much opportunity for broadening ones meaningful conversational skills. I may be wrong but reading the forums and comments here at CM, that seems to be a common ailment. The book would be of more help. Thanks for the insight, especially the 3 ways men and women communicate and the 3 suggestions. Stephen

    • I BELIEVE THAT IF YOU WANT TO GIVE GOD THE CANCELLATION, I THINK I SHOULD CARRY HIS CROSS AND FOLLOW CHRIST, PEOPLE WANT ALL EASY AND NO EFFORT, THE BEST God is giving A MESSAGE, they do not want to remarry., I LISTEN TO THE PRIEST SAY THAT IF FAILURE omeone MARRIAGE IS BEST LEFT ALONE AS THE WIDOW, THE WIDOW TO EXPECT THE DEATH and reconnect with the loved one, many are thinking of NOT ALONE BUT STAY BACK ENAMORAR.Y nadien THINK ON THE CROSS TO LOAD. MAYBE GOD IS SAYING THAT HIS CROSS IS WHERE YOU CAN STILL GIVE THE CANCELLATION.

  2. Thank You Lisa for your valued information – I believe communication is a lifelong learning process. Even the non verbal things matter – like touching their arm or holding their hand even in silence (which is different than the silent treatment) – even little tokens of showing you care for example a man making sure the gas tank is full or any mundane thing that comes into our day – help each other to make sure each person is safe and being taken care of. Even praying together helps keep the relationship in tact. JOY is equal to Jesus Others Yourself.

  3. I like the “JOY” Jesus Other Yourself

  4. I BELIEVE THAT IF YOU WANT TO GIVE GOD THE CANCELLATION, I THINK I SHOULD CARRY HIS CROSS AND FOLLOW CHRIST, PEOPLE WANT ALL EASY AND NO EFFORT, THE BEST God is giving A MESSAGE, they do not want to remarry.

  5. These are WONDERFUL suggestions for achieving healthy communication in a relationship. I’ve dated many men who hadn’t the first clue about the three tips you offer. They couldn’t listen supportively, couldn’t express their needs without criticizing me, and felt threatened whenever I didn’t agree with their opinions. What’s sad is that I know many of them came from families where dysfunctional communication occurred all the time. Our families influence us profoundly – but if we want to break free from such an unhealthy pattern as an adult, it IS possible! Thank you for the post.

    • I agree and you NEED to be an advocate of change – pass these along to the shmuck who may know there is something wrong but does not (because nobody ever explained it to him/her) WHAT and how to correct it. I personally have found that to have been my problem and it was/is my EX’s problem too – so it’s the charitable thing to do – pass it along, charitably. Stephen

  6. I believe linda is on to something, but not making it quite clear (sorry Linda).. so here’s the deal. communication between one another, will continue to be diffricult for men and women who do not make communication with God, their #1 priority… Place God first in your lives (the 1st commandment).. Pray everyday, pray for each other.. if spouces prayed everyday for each other, communication would not be very difficult.. Not saying things would be perfect, just much easier to work differences out.. Let’s start with this idea; If you are not God centered, then you are self centered.. You may not be blantanly self centered, or horibly arrogant, but the end result will generally be “it’s about me”… You should never be about me, nor you, nor anyone else, but God.. Place God first in your life, and your spouce 2nd.. If both man & woman did this, how great things would bethe other always placing you first.. it’s a win win every time… i could go on and on about this, and it’s most serious importance.. Buti’ll end it here.. Communication should always begin with prayer.. “seek the Kingdom of God first, and all things shall me added unto you’ Matthew 6:33.. William ;-)

  7. Hi again, this thing was having some difficulties, not allowing me to see what i was writing (above) when getting closer to the end.. that Bible verse should have said “and all things shall BE added unto you”… meaning: seek God first, store your treasures in heaven, and the best of things await you.. What you should want for the one you love, more than anything, is: Heaven..
    With love,
    William :-)
    PS: Be humble, forgive those who have harmed you.. if you’ve harmed someone, say your sorry..

  8. MUCH DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE SPANISH TRANSLATION, WHAT ARE WANTED TO SAY THAT WHILE THE PROCESS OF CANCELLATION, who will bear the Cross of Christ that are not stressed, IF THEN HELD THE DEN.
    THE CAUSE CANCELLATION ESTRES.NO stressed.
    What I meant THE WIDOW, IS THAT IF SOMEONE WITH SUPER SPECIAL EVENT AND WE WANTED TO BONES THAT THE MOST LOGICAL reunite BOTH IN HEAVEN., THE PICTURES OF THE WIDOW IN THE HOUSE, CLOTHES, SHOES, ALL YOUR MEMORIES …. BUT remarrying spoil God’s plans.

  9. I have found that self-awarenesss is key. Without some form of that, people are mostly clueless to what deficiencies they may have. Often because others have not told them in love (or any other constructive way) what their problems/issues are. Even if they do, many just blow it off, or ignore it, or are combative towards it. This constant (life-long) process of self-awareness/evaluation is critical for our growth. Without it we have litle hope of changing, and thereby growing. If you have no (percieved) problems, why bother to change? See Cloud & Townsend: BOUNDARIES – a VERY insightful book on dealing with how to handle out inner and outer boudariesd in life. I read it too late, sadly, but understand it now.
    Of course, it’s only common sense from the Gopsels: first remove the plank in your own eye – then you will see clearly to remove the speck in the other’s eye.

  10. Very nicely written article, Lisa! Great points! I’m sure this article will be extremely helpful to anyone who reads it. Being divorced myself, I learned that miscommunication was at the center of many conflicts.
    However, I’d just like to say (not necessarily to you but for others who have posted on this!) that sometimes divorce has nothing to do with lack of perseverance or selfishness. There are situations where after marrying someone you become aware that they are not who they portrayed themselves to be pre-marriage, or your spouse can change to the point where it is no longer healthy or even safe to stay with them. All I’m saying is that I have had times since my divorce where other Catholics have confronted me to let me know that marriage is supposed to be for life, why didn’t I try harder, etc. The truth is no one else knows exactly went wrong in someone else’s marriage. The Catholic community is supposed to offer positive support for its members- not judgement.

    • Bridget,
      Thank you so much for sharing the perspective of a divorced Catholic. I too, am a divorced practicing Catholic. Divorced practicing Catholics, will always carry a cross, because they have to live their life with the added difficulty of practicing their faith, in a society where people make assumptions and judgement about their lifestyle. It is very disheartening to be judged by Catholics who unfairly assume your marriage was your personal failure, and that you should have second class Catholic status, due to divorce. Sometimes it is necessary to annul a marriage, because you are unable to practice your faith in that current situation. I am not talking about “freedom of religion” in a political way. I speaking of an unhealthy relationship, such as one where your life is not Christ centered.
      To impose a judgement on a divorced Catholic, would be similar to divorced Catholics imposing judgement on people of a certain age, who were never married. Have you ever heard the expression, if he/she hasn’t met, Mr. or Mrs. right by now……perhaps, they are Mr. Wrong or Miss Wright. Let’s leave the judgement for God.

  11. I meant Miss Wrong- in my above post.

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