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I see new couples almost every week and the reason stated for coming to see me is “we have communication problems”. Even though each couples has a different story, the complaint is almost always the same. Why do so many couples have communication problems?

As I start to explore, the issue almost always is that though we usually speak the same language, we do not listen, we react from a defensive stance or offensive stance, we want to win the argument, have what we want.

Last night I had a young couple in my office, they are planning a very lavish wedding and their arguments have escalated since their most romantic engagement. Theirs is not a typical story with each set of parents striving for power and and control, money debates, etc. They are arguing about little things, there is so much anger that I can not stop them from interrupting each other, no one even listens to anyone, it is truly mind boggling…

At end of the session, they dropped another bomb, she wants a dog and he doesn’t. Both are frustrated with each other and angry, each feels the other wants control, rather then really listen to why she does and why he doesn’t and see if either point makes any sense to the other. Instead they each want what they want and are angry and resentful about the other without really hearing what is at the heart of the matter, which is that there is enough going on, the wedding, looking to buy an apartment, being childless and free in the city, traveling a lot, he feels that puppy would add undue stress and limit their possibilities. We did not really get to why she wants a dog now.

This argument is to be continued…..