COMMUNICATION in a Relationship

is as Important as Breathing


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Communication is to a relationship what breathing is to living. When lines of communication are not open, the relationship is doomed to failure. We could write a chapter just on this subject it is so important. 


General points:

1. You should have no withholds.

2. You can have peaceful discussions. You can even disagree without an upset.

3. Remember that anger provokes separation.

4. Communication ends separation.

5. Always go for the solution.

6. Compassionate communication is this (also called non-violent communication).

7. What I observe is __________.

8. The way I feel about it is __________.

9. What I need and recommend is __________.

10. There is a big difference between complaints and criticisms. Complaint focuses on an event. Criticism attacks a person’s character.

11. Avoid harsh startups that begin with attack, blame, or criticism.

12. Always do a soft startup. Share some responsibility on your part first.



There is such a thing as verbal abuse. When a couple does not have good communication habits, they may be falling into some of these verbally abusive patterns. Here are some categories of a form of verbal abuse by Patricia Evens from her book The Verbally Abusive Relationship:

1. WITHOLDING (Keeping to oneself in order to punish the other)

2. COUNTERING, CONTRADICTING & INTERUPTING (Insulting the partner’s intelligence)

3. DISCOUNTING (Devaluing a partner’s experience)

4. JOKING (Teasing and invalidating through sarcasm)

5. BLOCKING OR DIVERTING (Changing the subject or making accusations)

6. ACCUSING AND BLAMING (Charging one’s partner with inappropriate behavior)


8. TRIVAILAIZING & DEVALUING (Saying or implying that what a partner says or does is insignificant)

9. UNDERMINING (Attacking a partner’s self-esteem)

10. THREATENING (Intentionally frightening the other)


12. FORGETTING (Claiming not to remember or getting foggy)

13. ORDERING OR COMMANDING (Adopting an authoritarian, dominating and disrespectful tone)

14. DENIAL (Lying about the facts)

15. INTERROGATING (Delivering a stream of questions in a hostile way)

16. SCAPEGOATING (Taking out on your mate things you are upset about elsewhere)

17. FEELING HURT (Being over-sensitive to suggestions that may actually be helpful)

18. EMOTIONAL AFFAIR (Sharing intimate things with a confidante not your mate)

It would be good to read this list and see if you or your mate are doing any of these patterns of behavior in your relationship. Ninety percent of cleaning these things up is to own the fact you are doing them. The other ten is catching yourself when you are doing them and choosing out of that pattern, without any extra guilt added onto it. 



There is a communication tool we call The 8-Minute Process. This process helps a couple to be heard by the other, without any interruptions, rebuttals, or defenses. It goes something like this: 

Go out to a quiet restaurant with soft music (no noisy music) or a quiet place in your home—comfortable and without any interruptions or distractions. The best place would be with a carpet on the floor, like a restaurant in a beautiful hotel, so that it is not noisy. 

The person the most upset shares first for eight full minutes, using non-violent communication, avoiding “you” sentences. (Steer clear of statements like, “You did this, and you did that.” “You” sentences are blaming. Avoid blaming.)  Partner A shares for eight minutes straight. Partner B just listens. The listener must follow these guidelines.

1. Absolutely no interruptions

2. No rolling of the eyes or making faces

3. No rehearsing the rebuttals

4. Must listen l00% present

Then you switch. Partner B talks for eight minutes. The same listening rules apply to Partner A. 

After both are heard, then you can have a discussion. The rules of non-violent communication still apply. These go as stated above: 1) What I observe is 2) What I feel is 3) What I suggest or need is. When a couple uses this 8-Minute Process frequently, communication improves and things clear up. In fact, upsets seldom occur when each person in the relationship feels totally heard and considered. 


When you have mastered communication, we have a few other things we do to keep our relationship thriving and clear, free of all conflict.  Our three big secrets for great relationships are simple: 

    1. Remove all negativity!
    2. Treat your mate always like you would an honored guest.
    3. Both of you practice self-analysis of taking 100% responsibility for everything that happens.  

For a comprehensive look at relationships in the new paradigm, check out our book, Spiritual Intimacy: What You Really Want with a Mate. (


From our new book: The Supermarket for a Meaningful Life

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