When asked what the basic cornerstone is for any lasting relationship, so many will say “communication.” TRUE. But what does it mean to be in communication with someone? Too often people seem to think it is just sending sound waves through the air that are heard by someone else. Too often people think if they can repeat what was just said to them, they are in communication. Too often people seem to think the louder and more forceful they are, the more they can get their communication across to another.
In a contemporaneous lecture he said: “It’s just like telephone lines are made out of copper, communication lines are made out of admiration.”
The wife of one of the couples told her husband about an upset she had 15 years earlier that still lingered in her relationship.
I was delivering a seminar in Taiwan to 60 couples on how to create an ideal relationship with their loved one. I discussed the quote on admiration and communication, and asked them to do an exercise where they had to communicate to their partner an upset they had that was never resolved.
The wife of one of the couples told her husband about an upset she had 15 years earlier that still lingered in her relationship and affected her love for him.
On their 5th anniversary, the wife was expecting to receive flowers, which was traditional, but her husband did not bring her any. He saw she was upset and she told him she expected him to bring her flowers. He gave her money and, with no affection, said, “Here, go buy some flowers.”
The upset from that experience was still lingering in the mind of the wife. In the past, when she told her husband of the upset, he never really understood how she felt, and even made her wrong for her attitude. As they did the exercise I asked him to admire her, and for the first time the husband was really willing to understand his wife’s perspective.
Without telling his wife, he asked someone at the seminar to go to the florist to buy his wife a bouquet. When they arrived, he gave them to her, and she took them in her hands with tears flowing down her cheeks. Fifteen years of upset were handled in minutes when true communication was allowed to happen, with the husband admiring his wife and acknowledging the rightness of her reality.
So many relationships fall into an “I am right—you are wrong” argument-and-struggle level of communication. I have learned that the best way to resolve disagreements with my wife involves my admiring her and not getting sucked into a right/wrong argument, but finding where I can sincerely acknowledge what is right about her perspective (even though I personally may not agree with it).
I have been happily married for 46 years and one of the key secrets of our success is: I admire my wife!