The Green Smoothie Challenge

The Green Smoothie Challenge
Lose Weight and Feel Great!

The Green Smoothie Challenge

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Secret of Healthy Communication

My husband and I have received counseling from our very wise and patient Pastor over the last year. I share this not to shock you but because I feel that through sharing my experiences, my real life experiences, the victories and the trials, that I am better able to help another that may be having similar experiences. It is so easy and so common to feel that we are the only ones with "issues" and I am here to tell you that this is just not true.

I used to think that counseling was only for people who had major problems and I used to think I didn't have major problems. What I have come to realize is that it is only by admitting to myself that I have areas of my life that are less than pretty, that I can work to heal and move forward in my life. The reason I knew we needed counseling was that a friend that I have a lot of respect for, related to me how she and her husband had been through a lot of counseling and that it had saved their marriage. When she admitted that to me, it freed me up to admit that we needed to do the same.

Boy has this changed things for us. It's been a longer road than I actually thought necessary, but we are now having our one year anniversary of being counseled. I have learned that neither of us learned to communicate in a healthy way growing up. We tend to want to be understood and we do not tend to seek to understand.

Well, magic happened in the Rippo home today after having been told about a month or two ago that our biggest issue is that we need to learn to seek to understand the other before seeking to be understood by the other. WHEW, I really just want to be heard:) So today we were in the kitchen, the place we seem to argue a lot:) and we started arguing. I've continually thought about what our Pastor told us. I have focused a lot on being able to see my husband with love and through the eyes of Christ and to understand him, but I have not been able to actually do this when we are arguing. I haven't given up though:)

Today my hubby told me that I really interupt all the time. I could have gotten offended easily by that. I decided to listen and actually believe that he is probably right. So... I just shut up and let him talk and then I remembered that effective communication involves seeking to understand before being understood. I have focused on this a lot even though I have not done it successfully, it turns out that simply having focused on it made a world of difference! I really, truly saught to HEAR him. He's never talked so much. I feel like our relationship had a MAJOR breakthrough today:)!! It is so simple, but not always easy to just shut up and listen. I'm Italian afterall. We like to talk...A LOT, and on top of that, I'm female and well...we like to talk...a LOT!!

It turns out that counseling is not for those that have major problems, but for those seeking to have a different and hopefully better way of living this life! I now can hear, when my hubby says I am interupting that he really is saying, "You're not hearing me." No need to be offended:)