FACET Tool Topics, cont'd.:
"I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
At this point in the FACET tool it has to be quite obvious that in order for all that has be discussed and all that may have been agreed upon regarding actions for the couple's future, that communication is the essential component for making all this possible. It is a given, but in reality a never ending task, an important skill that the couple must continually work on throughout their marriage. This section addresses the basic starting point of this couple's level of communication. It then takes them to a deeper level, but this is only the beginning; they must desire to increase in their capacity to communicate masterfully. Active listening, speaking "I" messages, and all the ways that they have available to them are more than simple skills. They are taught for a greater purpose. In marriage the couple has the possibility of helping each other heal their own childhood wounds, and in doing so become intimate and more in love than they can ever imagine. This possibility means that their marriage is actually a spiritual pathway one through which they can open up to each other, but only if they each learn how to enter into each other's world. This requires setting aside judgment, criticism, or any harshness that will send the other back to a defensive position. Communication is a skill, but it is also an attitude. Each partner must come from a place of caring and appreciation of the other something more difficult to do when there may be hurt or anger. The mastery comes when each can suspend self and join the other as "other" and treat the other with respect even when he or she is seemingly unlovable. Then the couple has achieved a level of empathy (the ability to feel "with" another) that is the sign of a mature and solid love.
Additional Questions to assist the conversation:
- What structures will we place within our daily/weekly lives to ensure we keep our communication open and growing?
- What helps me to communicate better?
- What makes it more difficult for me to communicate?
- How can we assist each other in our on-going commitment to communicate well?
- How does our communication pattern differ from the one each of us learned as children?