“It is so important to listen! Husbands and wives need to communicate to bring happiness and serenity to family life,” Pope Francis tweeted to his 16.6 million followers last December 16, 2015. Since then, the message has been retweeted over 10,000 times. Like in any kind of relationship, communication is one of the most important factors for a marriage to work. But this is one those things that are easier said than done simply because men and women have different ways of communicating. In his book, “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”, John Gray, Ph.D., states, “Men and women seldom mean the same things even when they use the same words.” Since it is the month of love, Communicare Training and Development’s Founders, JP and Monica Prado, have come up with their own tips to help married couples decode each other’s messages and communicate better with each other. Here they are:
To the men, I say:
1. Read between the lines. When we say, “I’m not feeling well.” It means “I want an ice cream and a hug.”
2. Anytime is a good time to talk. When we feel something that we need to let out, please turn off the TV and tend to our emotions.
3. In a fight, we don’t only get hysterical. We also get historical. As Celine Dion’s song goes, “It’s all coming back to me.” We remember all similar incidents that happened in the past because all these past events make the bigger picture. We bring it up in the present argument to make our point clearer.
4. There are times, when all we need is a pair of listening ears. We know that you love being our superhero. But you do not need to fix everything. Don’t force yourself to come up with the perfect solution.
5. Gestures work well with us too. A bouquet of flowers or a hug can go a loooong way! Please do this though on random days too, not just when you need to say sorry.
To the women, JP says:
1. When you want to say something, say it directly. We cannot read minds. When we are about to go out with our friends and you say, “Have fun!” We will literally have fun so make sure you mean what you say.
2. When you want to talk to us while we’re watching sports, hold the remote control and we will be at your mercy.
3. Give us a mancave, a space in the house where we can be by ourselves when we need to. This is a good place to talk because here, we have an “illusion” of full control. But ask nicely first if you can enter.
4. When we don’t want to talk, let us be. Don’t take it against us. We will talk when we are ready.
5. Taking care of our belly will lead to good conversations. Why? Because when you take care of our belly, you take care of hearts.
With the differences in the way men and women communicate, it is not always easy to understand your spouse. But with constant practice, good intentions and lots and lots of patience, couples can use communication as a tool to make their marriage better.