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Why Do Marriages Fail (Part 5)

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Maintain visual contact: To be understood it is important for both the speaker and listener to have sight of each other. Though words in themselves are powerful medium of communications, oneís ability to express oneself to oneís spouse is greatly enhanced by body language, facial expressions and so forth. Indeed one gesture can say more than words if applied correctly. Moreover, having visual contact is a tacit acknowledgement of the legitimacy of oneís spouse irrespective of whether there is disagreement of a few particular and often transient issues.

Emphasize the positive: When having disagreements, couples often allow anger to rule them and make derogatory sweeping statements about each other. This merely exacerbates matters by eliciting defensive responses. Though some spouses find this difficult to do it is far more diplomatic to initiate the conversation with something positive.

This obviously puts the other party at ease and allows focus on solving issues rather than voicing personal condemnation. Being positive often requires a new mindset given the negative slant of communications so prevalent in Western society. However, positive words in themselves have the effect of shaping reality in a constructive way even in the most hopeless situations. Needless to say oneís spouse is more likely to respond positively as well, despite any initial skepticism, so the things become self reinforcing with a greater likelihood of conflict resolution.

Achieve more by aiming for less: Given the interrelated nature of reality, trying to solve too many problems simultenously often creates even more problems. The key to communication between couples, especially when dealing with marital strife is to go for simplicity. This does not mean ignoring issues but rather trying to reduce a myriad of disputes into a few basic principles. This ensures that both parties are more inclined to listen to each while conferring the necessary attention to actually solving problems. Within this context prioritisation is essential to addressing the more pressing issues first which has the potential to mitigate and even eliminate other issues.

Solicit Feedback: Discussions which are one way by their very nature have a low probability of resolving conflicts between couples. It is vital to maintain a dialogue and not a monologue by soliciting feedback from oneís partner. This helps ensure that both parties understand each other and are actively involved in the conversation. Given the ambiguities of reality it is invetiable that couples have often significantly different views. Two way conversations are essential to thresh out different perspectives and come to more long term resolutions by taking both partyís opinions into consideration. Monologues in contrast do not harmonise different opinions but merely impose a personís will over the other which if anything sets the stage for even greater conflict later.

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