Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.
I came across a posting on The Atlantic Magazine website titled: What Kinds of Happy Couples Eventually Get Divorced?
I think this is the first time the word “divorce” has appeared on my blog, as it’s a phenomenon I don’t want to have to think about!
However, as a business communications coach (The Business of Confidence), I was interested in the answer to that question:
In a new study, the researchers followed 136 married couples who all reported being very satisfied in the first four years of their marriages. They questioned each spouse periodically over a period of 10 years, asking them to rate statements about marriage satisfaction, level of commitment, personality traits, stress levels, problem solving abilities, and how supportive they were with their partners. Some skills and traits were rated by the researchers, as the couples discussed relationship difficulties in the lab.
Couples who went on to divorce were more likely to be poorer communicators and tended to display more negative emotions and support mechanisms than people who stayed married.
Although I’ve officiated over one-thousand non-denominational, inter-faith and cross-cultural weddings, I really haven’t seen it all – but I have seen a lot.
And when it comes to couples – via my work as an officiant and pre-marital communications counselor – I’ve seen more than enough to be certain of two things:
- The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the quality of the communication in your life.
- How you communicate with each other in the planning of your wedding is a sure indicator of how you’re going to communicate after your wedding.
So, my question(s) to YOU is:
Are you happy with the way you and your partner communicate?
Is there some aspect(s) of how you communicate that you want to replace
with a more effective and less stressful way of communicating?
Here’s the thing. . .
Flip through any wedding magazine and most likely you’ll come across an article with a title such as: “8 Nitty-Gritty Must-Have Conversations Before You Walk Down the Aisle.”
The article will challenge you to reflect on the conversational health of your relationship with a list of questions such as:
- How do we feel about having kids?
- How will we handle money?
- Who cleans the toilet?
- What about the in-laws?
- What don’t we agree on?
- How do we keep the sparks flying?
- How will we balance work and play?
These are ALL essential questions – and my hope is that a couple has answered these questions before coming to discuss the ceremony with me.
If they haven’t, then I offer communication coaching that helps a couple hone their skills.
The novelist Andre Malroux claimed that –
A happy marriage is a long conversation that always seems too short.
The question is: what do you and your partner talk about?
Here’s a list I put together of 25 “non-nitty gritty” questions that are fun, silly, intriguing and revealing.
In some respects, these questions are just as important as the “serious” questions I posed above.
How many of these questions have you asked each other?
How many answers do you know?
- What has been one of the most memorable experiences in your life?
- What is an experience that challenged you but ultimately made you a better person?
- How have you touched another person’s life (for the good)?
- What do you think is the weirdest thing about life in general?
- What is one way in which you’re mean to your self?
- What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?
- What is the best compliment you’ve ever given?
- What is the worst insult you’ve ever received?
- What is the worst insult you’ve ever given?
- What is the best text you ever got? The worst?
- What is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?
- What are five things you’re grateful for?
- What was your favorite childhood toy?
- What was your favorite childhood game?
- What was the best movie you ever saw as a kid?
- How are you different today from when you were in 5th grade?
- What is the biggest mistake you ever made?
- What is the failure you’re most proud of – because of what you learned from it?
- What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?
- What are five silly things you’d like to try at least once?
- What are your five favorite words and why?
- What is one thing you don’t understand about yourself?
- What are you most self-conscious about?
- Who or what do you find intimidating?
- Who is the smartest person you know and why are they so smart?
If you want more tips on how to communicate in smart, healthy ways with your partner – during wedding planning and beyond –
check out my book,
How To Plan Your Wedding AND Stay Sane!
Treat you and your partner to a communications coaching session with me.
Click HERE for details!