-We love marriage just as much as we love weddings. Take a moment to prepare not just for the wedding, but for the marriage –
One of the most important things in order to build a foundation of communication is empathy according to Drs. Les and Leslie Parrot in their book Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts – the book that I was given as a newlywed but did not read until after we had been married for over a year and has been my new favorite book ever since I read it. So for those of you who follow the MMM posts, you have heard me talk about it before.
Empathy is looking at something through the vision of someone else. It is fully and whole heartedly understanding where your spouse is coming from, from their perspective.
In their books the Drs. Parrot also discuss other points that build a foundation to good communication, but I think they all lead towards the last one they mention: empathy. I also think it is the biggest one because it is not easy to do and it is so important. I often find myself saying “I know where you’re coming from, but… ” But really If I take a step back, it is plain to see that I only “know” where he is coming from on a very surface level. Usually, I have not allowed myself to really look at the situation through his eyes and empathize with him, because if I do I might change my mind and I am stubborn. In our personal experience empathy is such a powerful building block to communication. When we practice empathy, it puts us both on the same page. It allows us to see the situation clearly, to think clearly, and to communicate clearly and peacefully.
I know there are many more concrete practical things you can do to effectively communicate, but empathy is at the heart of loving and clear communication. Do you having any personal experience with this? What do you think?