Ability to Dialogue
Author: P. Peter Coates | Source: Catholic.net
Take a look at your teenagers on the phone, the important thing is communication, being linked, not so much the content. Communication in marriage is difficult because we struggle a lot to listen. It is the challenge of the spouses. Someone said that when God made us, he made us with 2 ears and 1 mouth, because listening is doubly more important and difficult. We do not listen.
They tell the story of the man who began to think that his wife was becoming deaf. He arrives at his house by the back door and says, "Anita you listening to me?" He comes closer and says, "Anita you listen to me?" Anita turns then and replies: "That’s the third time I say yes! "
Communication is an exercise and listening and hearing doesn’t really require the ears, but the heart. To be able to listen to a person, one must think that what a person is telling me is more important than what I have already in my head.
To listen you have to sacrifice yourself, to pay attention, to have empathy, you have to do without yourself. That's why we do not listen, and communication is difficult.
Communication is difficult because there is no time. I’d like to share the reflection entitled "The sad wife of a model husband". When couples get married, I recommend spending a night to have dinner just the two of them at least once a week. The most important commitment they have is their marriage on which their family depends. If this does not work, the children do not work and if the family does not work, one does not work. It is worth investing that time.
Another communication problem is not knowing how to say things. There is a great article, which is like the Vatican's version to be able to criticize so that they do it at ease, it is from an author who offers rules on how to criticize:
a) You have no right to criticize what you do not usually praise.
A father who never praises what his son does well, what right could he have to scold him? The one father who is always willing to praise and is forced to criticize, then you can. If you only look for the black point on the wall, if you only criticize others negatively you lose your right to criticize. Analyze if you are being constructive, positive, highlighting achievements.
b) You should not criticize anything that you do not love.
We criticize the rulers and the Church, the son and the husband, the more we show them our love. Criticism of the enemy does not create or contribute anything. Ask yourself if it is born of love or bitterness. If it is born of bitterness, do not do it, it is useless.
c) When you criticize what you love, criticize with love.
With as much delicacy as the one used to heal a wound. There may be an outlet for the critic. The one that criticizes with viciousness, only irritates. He who does not love has no right to criticize. This is the most common fault. It is not what is said, but the way of saying it. The most painful truths can be said, but with delicacy they welcome and do good. When you say things with sarcasm, bitterly, with the desire to offend and hurt, you are wasting your time, you are venting, but you are not building.
d) You should never formulate a criticism without first asking the critic himself for the part of responsibility that is in what is criticized.
Share our error also in what we criticize. How to scold a child who is late at home, without seeing that maybe living at home is not pleasant. The critic will understand better his error, it will not be an aggression.
Following these rules will improve communication in marriage.