It was actually an excellent experience, and one that I would highly recommend to any couple, no matter how good you think you have it. After the first session I was just blown away by how good I really have it, and how well my wife and I communicate.
Apparently for a marriage or any relationship to be successful you need to have a ratio of at or above 4 positive comments to every 1 negative comments. One of the exercises was to figure out what our ratio was... We're not really sure. We think it may be up around 40:1, but the 1 negative we had during the week was actually more of a positive, or at least it turned out that way after it was brought up.
I bring this up because I've had other interactions lately which have not been so positive. Here are some things I've learned over the years about communication and relationships.
- If you look for and expect the worst in the other person, you'll find it. Even if it isn't really there, you'll still find it.
- If someone disagrees with you, it's OK. It doesn't mean they hate you, despise you, or think less of you in any way. Actually I almost prefer talking with someone who differs in opinion. It gives me more of a chance to learn and grow.
- If for any reason you have a disagreement with someone, trying to discuss it using the "You Suck, you're awful, you are the worst person in the world because in the past you did, A, B and C, now lets talk" method is generally not the best approach to resolve problems.
- It's OK to make mistakes. We all make them everyday - Me probably more than most. You can either learn from them, or dwell on them. Denying that such mistakes ever happened though, doesn't mean they didn't happen, and is more just an indicator of your true character.