do When There's a Communication Stalemate in Your Marriage
By Susie and Otto Collins
What point of
view do you take when communicating
with your partner?
talking about a movie you both
enjoyed, your perspective on the
conversation is probably quite
positive and even joyful. It's fun
to connect in this way.
you two are hashing it out over a
tricky topic, you are probably not
viewing the situation as joyful, fun
or very positively.
those times when the connection is
strained between you and your love,
it can be difficult to look at
things from a different perspective.
But when you're
stuck in a communication stalemate,
changing your point of view may just
be the key to the opening and
connecting you want-- resolutions tend
to come easier as well!
Have you ever
looked at one of those optical
illusion drawings? One we viewed
recently was an image of what
appeared to be the side-view of an
older woman wearing a bonnet with a
wart on her nose.
But wait! When
we looked again, the drawing seemed
to now be the back view of young
woman also wearing a bonnet but with
long hair and wearing a necklace.
Pretty cool! How could the same
drawing show two very different
What does this
have to do with you and your
partner's communication habits?
actually. If you can shift your
point of view of the way you look at
the same drawing and see a
completely different picture, you
can do the same thing with your
relationship and just about any
argument you two may be having.
your willingness to soften your
"side" and allow yourself to see
more than what you did before.
This may take
some practice. We live in a world
where competition seems to be
Just turn on
the tv and you might see cooking,
singing, winning a husband and even
giving away money to charities all
turned into competitions where the
winners win big and the losers walk
away in shame.
This might be
enjoyable to some to watch and even
participate in, but don't take
competition into your
sit down to talk with your partner--
no matter what it's about-- re-think
your view of the exchange.
Coming to a
conversation about a tricky topic
without an assumption that one of
you will win and the other will lose
can mean the difference between your
usual argument and an easier
Even if the
final decision isn't what you'd
originally planned, letting go of
the win-lose dichotomy gives you
space to feel good about the
your perspective about communication
in a general way and when you're not
feeling intense about a particular
In your mind,
see yourself and your partner both
coming away feeling heard and
respected and with a sense of
situation from the "other side."
As you start to
look differently at communication
dynamics you can begin to let go of
there having to be a winner or a
You can now
look at the situation from a
different perspective and amazingly
see many possibilities where before
there was only one (or just a few).
In fact, you
may better be able to see the value
in the "other side"-- what your
partner's perspective is on the
might not have wanted to even
consider what he or she has to say
out of fear that your "side" won’t
be considered. With a shift in
perspective, however, you may even
notice the similarities in what you
The points of
overlap in your "sides" are visible
experience an a-ha in your
relationship just as the optical
illusion drawings demonstrate that
there is almost always so much more
than what you initially see.
And when you
are able to see possibilities, you
are more open to communicating in
ways that bring you closer to the
one you love.
For information to help you communicate for
deeper connection and love--especially
when it's difficult, visit