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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Five Tips for Improving Communication With Your Fiance': It's Not That Hard!

It been said that men and women are from two different planets, particularly in the ways we communicate. Men tend to be more matter-of-fact and are concerned about 'what' (i.e., what do you need me to do?), while women tend to be more sensitive and are concerned about 'how' (i.e., how do you feel?). These are generalizations, of course, but how do two people who come from two different perspectives mesh when it comes to communication? These 5 tips are based on my own experiences as a wife and my observations in working with engaged couples. Whether you're married or engaged to be married, the concepts are applicable to you! 

Start with the right attitude
And what is the right attitude, you may ask? What if you need to have a conversation with your fiance' to try to resolve a disagreement, or to let him know how you feel about a particular issue. Before you begin, try to calm whatever negative feelings you may have. If you are mad, the last thing you need to do is start speaking with anger in your voice and showing it in your demeanor. If you have been crying, try to calm yourself down before you speak. Your sadness or anger will get in the way of the other party hearing what you have to say!


Have an open mind
As your fiance' is talking to you, be open to what he has to say. Keep in mind that you are not a mind reader, so you need to be receptive to what is being said. Don't pre-judge the conversation and try to predict what he will say...he may surprise you!


Really listen to your fiance'
I'm sure you've heard this before....we have 2 ears and one mouth for a reason! When I say 'listen' I'm not just referring to the physical act of using the sense of hearing. I mean both hearing and absorbing what is being said. Along with listening to his words, also take in his tone of voice and body language. This will help you get the true meaning of what he's trying to communicate. And, please do not start planning your response before he stops talking! How can you respond accurately when you are trying to get your words together before he's finished?


Keep your conversation with your fiance' confidential
Your fiance' needs to be able to trust that what he shares with you will not be repeated (unless he gives you the ok to do so). Your mother, his mother, or your best friend are not parties in the conversation, and should not brought in after the fact. The relationship you have with your future husband is yours alone, and there is no room for meddlers and busy bodies!

Give and show respect
All men want to be respected. Show your fiance' that you respect his opinion and thoughts, even if you don't agree with them. Don't say things like 'that's dumb' or 'that doesn't make any sense' or 'are you crazy' when responding to him. This is sure fire way to shut down the lines of communication, that can be sometimes hard to rebuild.

Your Planning Assignment
Put these tips into practice! They will go a long way to ensure the lines of communication between you and your future husband remain open, and will help you have a healthy relationship. If you have issues in this area, seek out the advice of a professional therapist or counselor.

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