A woman who contacted me for coaching was so unhappy in her marriage and she was totally convinced that her husband didn´t love her any more. We can call her Anna and her husband for Stan. She gave me the following story:
We have been married for 3 years and I no longer feel appreciated and I´m certain that Stan doesn´t love me. He doesn´t show me any love and it feels like he don´t see me, Anna told me. I asked her if she had told Stan about her needs, which she said she had done countless times but it didn´t make any difference. When I asked her how she had literally presented it to Stan the answer I got was: “I want you to show me that you love me and that you appreciate me.” Stan had then replied that he shows her lots of love and appreciation. However, Anna said, it is not true because I do not see or feel anything of it. Then I told Anna to go home and ask her husband exactly how he shows his love and appreciation. Anna thought it was odd to ask such a question because everyone knows how to show love and appreciation.
Next time I met Anna she told me what answer Stan gave her when she asked him how he shows love and appreciation and his answer was as follow: “I fixed the brakes and tires on your car so you could drive safely.” It proved that he loved and appreciated her, he thought. So Stans response shows that we define things very differently. And that´s the reason why it´s so important to communicate in a very clear way to mimimize misunderstandings.
So where did Anna go wrong in her communication?
A short and easy answer; Anna needed a wrench but asked for a tool and received a screwdriver.
So, how do you communicate? How clear are your questions? How clear are you when you express your needs?
Remember! Life is far too precious to be wasted on lamentations!