Great Relationship Advice: The Ability to Communicate

In my workshops with couples, I start with this question:

"How many of you believe men and women are created differently?"

Usually most everyone agrees, and I congratulate them on passing Anatomy 101. The next question is slightly different:

"How many of you believe that men and women think, feel, perceive and experience the world in sometimes dramatically different ways?"

Usually most of the women agree and the men just look confused.

The point is that these differences cause men and women to communicate in very different ways.

One couple I worked with described it this way:

She says: ``Whenever I tell him how my day has gone, he always tries to solve the problems without really listening to me. All I want him to do is listen to me so I know I'm important to him.''

He says: ``I just get confused in all the details and try to solve the problem to solve my confusion.''

What is missing here is 'intimate communication,' or the ability to step into the other person's world and experience and view it as he or she does. One of the greatest needs of human beings is to be understood. Many partners feel misunderstood because their mates don't take the time to listen to the feelings behind the words.

An important part of intimate communication is being able to share difficult feelings and still maintain a connection. If difficult feelings are not discussed, the relationship can become more and more fragile until it breaks.

Visit for tips and tools for creating and growing a great relationship. You can also subscribe to our f*r*e*e 10 day e-program on how to enrich your relationship today, from relationship coach and expert Jeff Herring.

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