Monday, November 06, 2006
she said / he said
As the wedding plans continue to progress and things are entering their final stage, I think it's safe to say that stress levels are mounting. Witnessing other friends go through the process when they got married might have given me an inkling of what it's all like, but of course, going through it yourself it quite different.
Nothing compares to firsthand experience, eh?
One of the things that has been interesting (at least IMO) has been attending premarital counseling sessions with my fiancee's pastor and his wife from her church. While we're using a book as the basis for the sessions, the pastor has been flexible (and skilled) enough to often move the conversations to a more deeper and engaging level... which is also often peppered with entertaining anecdotes from the pastor's own marriage (or his wife's version of the events).
This past week, the topic of the conversation was "communication."
I think some people are under the impression that a soon-to-be-married couple communicates via clairvoyant telepathy, however I'll be the first to admit that there are times that I'm completely baffled by the things my fiancee says or does. It's like we're speaking different languages, but hey... men and women having problems communicating?
Gee, like that isn't a novel problem. (rolls eyes)
As a man, I will confess that sometimes I chalk up issues of miscommunication to the fact that all women have certain aspects of bizarro logic and craziness in them, whether obvious or hidden.
I'm not sure where this entry is going, but I don't mean it as a diss against all the women of the world. I have a lot of respect for women; I was raised by a widowed mother and (kinda) helped to raise a little sister. I guess all of this is a long way of saying that because there certain differences in the way men and women are acculturated to think and behave, and these differences show up in the ways they interact and communicate with each other... and these interactions only get magnified once you're married to someone and pretty much living your entire life with them. (duh, right?)
The pastor who's counseling my fiancee and I commented how we're quite similar to most of the couples he's counseled in terms of communication styles - men being predominantly "cognitive communicators" (facts, ideas, judgments) while women being predominantly "emotional communicators" (verbalizing how they feel or how they think others feel about facts, ideas, judgments). However, the key point that came up in discussions was that rather than expecting to master the other person's style of communication, the first skill that needs to be learned is "how to listen."
An excerpt from the book:
December is coming up fast.
I have no comment on Exhibit A, except for my observation that the person seems very angry about something. Big surprise there. Heh.
As for exhibition B, it's just a matter of wanting to avoid the subject and conflict, but if prodded, we'll talk (or rather, bitch). Though wanting to avoid conflict is understandable, I think it's actually harmfun for the relationship by not talking things out. That said, I still am guilty of it. :/
I highly recommend the video Love and Respect (there's also a book which I assume is the same material). It explains very well about how men and women communicate differently.
david>Post a Comment
haha, I'm looking forward to you dispensing more advice when you give the sermon on my wedding day.
angry women? nah, never happens! ;)
funny enough, the fiancee is actually reading the "love and respect" book right now... our marriage counseling pastor gave it to her.