Communication Challenges

Poor communication leads to failed marriages.

Collaborative Marriage Planning grows out of the recognition that nearly half of all marriages end in failure. While there are many causes of marriage failure, usually it stems from a sustained failure to communicate and/or work together as partners. To build more secure and successful marriages, Collaborative Marriage Planning focuses on the development of communication skills and strategies, while building two useful reference documents for the marriage/committed relationship.

Have you seen a TV program or movie where the woman is angry and the man she is angry at is trying to find out why? This image is an archetype of couples’ communication issues. We see it often in TV and film because it is a situation we can all relate to personally. The circumstance on the screen ties us to the character, because we have all had similar experiences.

At the other end of the spectrum, in 2013 there was a TV commercial where a woman tells a clerk that she is looking for a purple paint, “Not, P-u-r-p-l-e” she says in a deep drawn out voice, “but, purrrple” she says in a lighter, friendlier voice. The clerk says, “I’ve got just what you’re looking for.” You see eight men standing in a line each a different shade of purple. The clerk signals to one, and the woman nearly swoons, “purrfect.” If only life were like that commercial. If only we could count on people, especially our romantic, life partners, to understand exactly what we are trying so desperately to communicate. We may wish for that, but in real life there are ups and downs, periods of great, poor, and mis-communication. The most we can achieve are the skills to work through the rough spots. We know too, that every coin has two sides. We have all seen examples where the one spouse is able (perhaps infuriatingly) to finish the other’s sentences. Or where both spouses have the same thought and reaction to something at the same time, as though they are sharing a single brain.
Collaborative Marriage Planning also grows out of the recognition that “marriage” is not the same as wedding”. Marriage is the extended period following the wedding where a couple develops a complementary style of working and communicating – together. Think of it as the process of blending whiskies, or different varieties of tobacco – which are also called “marrying”.
Collaborative Marriage Planning allows the two of you to start building the effective communication skills you’ll need to develop a joint understanding about where you want your relationship to go, and how your relationship will operate on a day-to-day basis. The Collaborative Marriage Planning teams facilitates the process and accelerates the development of positive communication skills.
Collaborative Marriage Planning acknowledges that your marriage/committed relationship begins as two individuals, who remain individuals with individual goals and priorities, while also becoming a third entity – a committed, intimate partnership with common goals and shared priorities. In developing the “Plan” and “Partnership Agreement” the Collaborative Marriage Planning team validates the fact and usefulness of difference, disputes, and conflict within the relationship. Couples experience how to manage and benefit from conflict using communication skills demonstrated in the Collaborative Marriage Planning process.