Dad's portion of the dialogue
provides a good picture of the
evolution of communication
breakdown within marriage.

This and the next series of BYM
Letters will focus on the topic of
communication. Real
communication only takes place
when both parties understand
each other. We all know that this
is NOT easy. On the flip side,
miscommunication and
misunderstanding are quite
easy. Ever been there?

Do YOU want to be understood?
If so, I believe that St. Francis'
opening quote holds a key
principle--SEEK FIRST to
understand. Stephen Covey,
noted leadership expert, also
uses this quote as the basis for
his 5th Habit in his best-selling
Seven Habits of Highly Effective
Our natural tendency is
to want people to understand us
first. In so doing, we often miss
what the other person is truly
trying to communicate to us.

Think back to your last
disagreement, or conflict. What
happened? Was it easy to
listen? Was it calm? Did you fully
pay attention while the other
person was explaining? Or were
you thinking about what you
were going to say (or rebut) next
while the other person was
speaking? If we are honest, we
would all confess that we have
failed at this at one time or  
another or often. Hopefully, we
can train ourselves to fully listen
and understand FIRST.

Everyone wants to be
understood! Your wife too--yes,
I'm sure you've heard it already.
Let's surprise her the next time a
situation of disagreement or
potential conflict comes up. Let's
show her that we are going to
"seek first to understand
before be understood."
that look like? How's about trying
these few steps:  
 ~ What's the issue?
 ~ How's she feeling about it?
 ~ What's my responsibility?

Now, how do you think she'd feel
and reply? Would she more
easily reciprocate? Then, it's
your turn to BE UNDERSTOOD!

Bless your marriage,
 Brother Willie Quan
“Seek first to
understand before
be understood.”
~ St. Francis of Assisi
I’d like to begin our June BYM
Letter with a movie scene from
Little Manhattan, a romantic
comedy about first love.

SETTING: A father and son
sitting on a park bench. Son,
Gabe (age 10) has experienced
his first heartbreak over a girl
and is talking to his father. A
little background on dad—he is
currently going through a
divorce with his wife, Gabe’s
mom. The dialogue begins:

Gabe: How come all love has
to end?

Dad: Let me tell you something
about me and your mom. Once
upon a time, we really loved
each other. But as time went by,
there just got to be all these
things--little things; stupid
things--that were left unsaid.
And, all these things that were
left unsaid piled up like the
clutter in our storage room and
after a while there was so much
left unsaid, we barely said
anything at all.

Gabe: Well, why didn’t you just
say them then, dad?

Dad: I don’t know Gabe. I kinda
wish I had.
© 2006
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Bless Your Marriage Letters                    Issue 6                                     June  2006
Bless Your Marriage Letters                    Issue 6                                     June  2006