Does self-help advice make marital communication sound too easy? Licensed clinical therapist Peter Kleponis thinks so. “I cringe a little when I flip through magazines and see articles on ‘10 Easy Steps’ to solving communication problems,” he says.
“They often give the impression that it’s a simple, tidy matter of learning a few skills. In fact, it’s an ongoing process involving deep-seated issues and two imperfect human beings!” While how-to tips can be helpful, he says in the following interview, couples who want to improve on their communication should begin by looking at the families they grew up in.
What are some of the underlying factors that hinder communication in marriage?
Anger, fear, loneliness, and mistrust are the most common root causes, I’d say. Most of the time, these problems don’t originate within the marriage itself. They develop as each spouse is growing up and observing how their own parents interact.
Normally, the patterns and styles of relating that we learned in our family of origin are what we bring into our marriage. Some…
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