In these first four chapters we get to take a hard look at ourselves – what type of communicator we are individually, how we communicate as a couple, and how we should be communicating in general. It was eye-opening for me to see that I tend to begin communicating as an “owl,” ready to just reason this whole thing out. Then, when things get tense, I fall back into “dove” territory just to make sure my husband doesn’t get upset with me (it’s easier that way both on him and on me . . . wait, that’s the ostrich isn’t it? Hmmmm). Perhaps you, too, find a bit of yourself in each of the “fowls” like I did. Recognizing these qualities in ourselves is painful, but almost freeing when they are acknowledged. How did that go for you? Did you and your spouse or significant other agree on the “fowl” you decided best described your unhealthy communication pattern?
One thing I appreciate about this book (and this is true throughout the book) is that Dr. Chapman follows up all of the “self exploration” with positive ways to move forward and create healthy patterns instead. Although it was eye-opening to realize that my husband and I were mostly in the “intellectual” and “emotional” categories when it comes to conversation, I greatly appreciated Dr. Chapman’s descriptions of those and great advice on how to move into the more intimate level of communication. I think we get there occasionally, but we certainly don’t stay there.
The final chapter regarding contract marriages truly hit home – I could definitely see that in my marriage, especially early on in our marriage. Thankfully we have gotten past most of that after 18 years. How did you respond to that chapter? Did you find it applicable to your marriage? Thankfully, chapter 5 will go deeper in to a “covenant” marriage and you will see the benefits of that as opposed to a contract marriage.
Please comment on this post and share your thoughts so far on this book!