Skip to content
Home » News » One Thing That Is More Important Than Communication

One Thing That Is More Important Than Communication

A couple comes in to a counselor and says the problem in their marriage is communication.

Counselor: Tell me more about why you are here today.

Wife: We are having problems with communication. I have told him 700 times that I am not his slave and shouldn’t have to pick up after him every single effing day while he sits on his butt and plays games on his phone, and it’s like I’m talking to the wall!

Husband: I did the dishes last week! You leave your crap all over the house. I can’t even have the guys over to watch the game because there’s no place to sit down. I don’t know why you think you’re a slave – the laundry is all over the couch, the floor, the bedroom. What do you even do all day? At least I go to work. And every time I want to have sex, she says she’s too tired! Too tired doing what?

Counselor: Don’t be shy. Tell me what you are really feeling. But seriously, I think you are communicating just fine. The attitude behind the communication is more important than the words you are using to communicate.

Couple in tandem: Huh?

The End.

I think this couple communicated very clearly. But the attitude behind the communication could use some work. This is worth thinking about for all of us. Do I convey that I am angry, that I hold the other person in contempt, that I am disappointed in the other person, and that I can barely stand to be in the same room with him/her? If so, I have to acknowledge that I am angry.  And then I have to think about why I’m so angry. Maybe it’s because my life is so stressful, and I feel the other person has no idea and isn’t on my side and isn’t trying to help me at all. Maybe it’s because I don’t feel heard. Maybe it’s because marriage is not at all like I thought it would be. It bears thinking about. Now I have some choices to make. I can choose to continue to be angry, or I can choose to listen to my anger as the messenger that is telling me that changes have to be made. I can decide that being angry all the time is not pleasant and not good for my health or my marriage and I want to try something different. If I take away the anger and the name calling, etc., I have to learn some new skills. I can’t just yell at my spouse any longer and think I have communicated and so I’m done. I have to learn how to treat the other person with kindness. That’s the first thing I have to learn. And that first thing is pretty huge.