Thursday, 23 February 2012

The Art of Communication.

Disclaimer: Yes, I did ask Marty's permission before writing this blog!!!

Some of you might be aware that Marty and I are currently partaking in a marriage course.  Of course, this is something that I signed us up for, and Marty found himself at (somewhat baffled at how he got roped into being there).  Although we would like to think that we have a pretty good marriage, I am aware that there is always opportunity for improving and growing a good thing to make it even better.  That's what athletes do to improve their game, and I figure that our marriage is a pretty important game.  So we rocked on up to our first night on "the marriage course" last week.  Last week we had a good giggle as we discovered new things (and not so new things) about each other....but this weeks session was a biggie - "The Art of Communication".  

Poor Marty.  As most of you reading this know, my husband is not a talker.  That would be my role in the relationship.  As my mother would say "When Marty talks, you listen - because he only talks when he has something to say".  Well, according to that idea, Marty mustn't have a lot to say.  And he would agree with that.  Talking is not his strong point.  This picture about sums up a conversation with Marty: 
Tonight we had to take turns at talking and listening. This was not an easy task for either of us.  Marty may not be a talker, but I am the first to admit that I am a chronic interrupter and am prone to going off on tangents about my own fascinating life as soon as the poor talker pauses to take a breath.  Not the greatest of traits I admit, and one that I am attempting to fix (NOT easy for a talker to do).   Sadly, like many people, I spend about 17 seconds (apparently that is a statistic) listening, and the rest of the time thinking about what I am going to say next.  A bit like this:
When I considered tonight the people who I think actually make me feel listened to and heard, it was quite an eye opener.  For starters, I know I say too much that is of no value at all to anyone, just ramblings about myself (like this blog really) and I am not a good listener myself, so people probably don't bother taking the time to have a proper conversation with me that often.  Secondly, the very few people that I could think of that are good listeners, are those that I highly respect and value in my life.  I want to be like them.  This is something I am going to put more effort into...I want to be a better friend.

BUT I am not the only one in our marriage who struggles with the art of communication though.  Marty admits that he is not so good at filtering out distractions and actually focusing on the conversation at hand.  He is wired a bit like this:
....Possibly this is a coping mechanism for the poor man in a household dominated by females.  This reminds me of a snipet of our conversation last week at this course actually.  I was sharing with my lovely darling husband about how I would like to have more undivided attention from Marty, more focused attention....when he piped up....looking at the speaker on the roof thoughtfully...."I think this is a James Bond song....yes....yes I am sure it what movie is this from...."
I rest my case.  

Gosh.  How on earth have we managed to get through 9 years of marriage like this?!  In our defense, we do have our strong points - we have (semi regular) weekly 'date nights', we 'hang out' a lot together..and I think we are good at discussing the things that really matter...

...but possibly not so good at listening just for the sake of being there for the other person - with no agenda to fix the problem, give opinions on the matter or sweep the issues away...but just to listen and be there for them.

This marriage course is turning out to be quite the eye opener!


  1. ha ha, love it, right down to the stick pictures. This post cracked me up! I remember doing it in our first year of marriage and we came to the same conclusions. x

  2. This was a good read, also love the drawings.. makes me want to go do a marriage course:)

    1. You should do the course AnneMarie, it is fantastic! You would love it....

  3. Yes, well it is Cheryl that is the talker in our family!!!!! Me and Marty are the quiet ones!!!!!