There are many reasons why marriages fail but they all have a common thread – communication breakdown. It doesn’t matter how in love your once were, the failure to communicate to each other is the root of relationship breakdown.
As a couple we age, we change, and there is nothing you can do about that. And it’s through this changing process that our relationship adjusts with our partners. If we grow at the same speed in the the same areas, chances are we will have a very “smooth” relationship. But the changes of this occurring are very slim, if at all likely to happen. Our changing perceptions of the world reflect what and in which areas we have grown. When your perceptions and your partners perceptions become less aligned arguments and disagreements occur leading to communication breakdown.
There are numerous tools and techniques out there that we can use to assist in avoiding communication breakdown with not only our partner/ex-partner but in all relationships.
Today I am going to discuss The Values Determination process created by Dr. John Demartini. This is a set of 13 questions, which evaluates what our lives are currently showing is most important to us. These values aren’t based on morals or virtues or like a shopping list of words where you pick the words that resonate with you. These questions are designed to extract your values without interference of your logical brain.
Now it may be tempting to answer the questions from the perspective of what you would like the answer to be but I urge not to do this. Imagine walking into the doctors rooms because you weren’t feeling well. After sitting down the doctor will ask you a series of questions to determine what is wrong with you. You wouldn’t then answer the questions how you believed you should normally feel, would you? When you know what you are dealing with, you can then take actions to rectify it. When you know what you are working with you can take steps to create a different result. If you know your values are and your partner’s values, you can easily see where you will naturally disagree. For example, women generally are very focussed on their children and generally men are focussed on providing financially for the family. Women and men will then argue about the time spent at work, versus time with the children. As well as the amount of money spent on the children. Once you know each other’s values you can also communicate better in their values rather than your own reducing the effects of communication breakdown.
The process has 2 steps:
For each one of these questions write down your top three answers. Use 1 – 3 words for each answer – don’t write sentences.
- How you fill your space
- How you spend your time
- How do you spend your energy?
- How do you spend your money?
- Where do you have the most order & organisation?
- Where are you most disciplined, reliable and focused?
- What do you keep saying internally that comes true?
- What do you speak about in social settings?
- What inspires you?
- Most consistent long term goals?
- What do you think about the most?
- What do you visualise and that come true?
- What do you love to read or learn about the most?
You will now have 39 answers. Group all the similar answers together and count each occurrence. The group(s) with the highest occurrences are your top values.
Here is an example to make it easier to understand:
- How you fill your space: gardening books, family photo graphs, computer
- How you spend your time – work, children, gardening
- How do you spend your energy? work, children, gardening
- How do you spend your money? food, children, plants
- Where do you have the most order & organisation? work, children’s schedule, gardening stuff
- Where are you most disciplined, reliable and focused? work, parenting, housework
- What do you keep saying internally that comes true? I am a great parent, I create a beautiful garden, I am safe
- What do you speak about in social settings? My garden, my children, holidays
- What inspires you? children doing well, beautiful gardens, successfully completing something
- Most consistent long term goals? create a beautiful garden, go on annual family vacations, exceed at work
- What do you think about the most? children’s wellbeing, work, garden
- What do you visualise and that come true? beautiful garden, work achievements, meeting new people
- What do you love to read or learn about the most? how to create a beautiful garden, parenting, work stuff
You can clearly see from this example that the top values here are: gardening (12) Children/family (12) work (8)
Now it’s your turn.