When was the last time you had a meaningful conversation with the important people in your life? These people could be your partner, your children, your team in the office, your boss anyone who you deem to be important. When I ask this question on courses, I notice the same reaction … the realisation that it was probably a long time ago. We live in at a fantastic age as far as technology is concerned. We are able to communicate with each other in so many different ways, ways that belonged to the realms of science fiction only a few short years ago. But, with tools such as smart phones and laptop computers we have less face to face conversations and this I believe is at the root of our relationship problems.
According to a UK Economic and Social Research Council report, in 2008 one in 4 people claimed they were unhappy with their partners. In 1987, this figure was one in 30. Equally alarming is the fact that 60% of all marriages today will end in divorce, the median duration of a marriage being only 7.2 years. These are worrying statistics and ones that are likely to get worse before they get better so the question is what is going wrong?
A colleague of mine once said, “At the root of any failed or broken relationship is a conversation that never took place!” I can vouch for this as the reason my first marriage came to an end was because I was busy working hard, pursuing my career with the intent of providing the best I could for my family while my ex wife was busy looking after our home and raising our kids. This was fine and noble to a degree; the only thing we forgot was to engage in meaningful and purposeful conversations. Eventually, when we did have the conversation we should have had several years before, it was too late, the damage had been done.
During these demanding and stressful times, it would be wise to keep a check on our important relationships. We should ensure that we do make time to have meaningful conversations with our partners, our children, our parents, our colleagues, etc. This will mean finding the time, however, time invested now will drastically reduce the chances of those relationships failing in the future.