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Marriage practitioners have begun to explore the implications of this for supporting couple relationships (Love and Stosny 2007).
Rather than teaching couples that communication is primarily about verbal expression, some are now arguing that the focus should be on supporting “deep emotional connection [as] a personal choice” (Love and Stosny 2007, 199) that is created and maintained by communication, although not necessarily or exclusively with words.
These skills are necessary but not sufficient for solid relationships and should be contextualized as part of the larger couple system.
(For information about other key practices to building and maintaining a healthy relationship, see the National Extension Relationship and Marriage Education Model, Emotional communication, that is, the creation of relationship-relevant meaning within a couple for purposes of connection, is like the circulatory system of a relationship.
Sociolinguists have noticed some typical gender differences in how women and men communicate (Kendall and Tannen 2001).It allows meaning and sentiment to flow between partners.It is the system for paying attention to each other.It might make a wife feel differently if her husband says with a beaming smile and a catch in his voice, “Aren’t you beautiful” than if he sneers in an ugly moment, “Aren’t you beautiful.” A lot of what partners communicate to each other does not come out in words.
Communication is fundamental to human interaction and intimate couple relationships, in part because communication is a tool for knowing or emotionally connecting with one another.
The connection that is established via communication does not have to be purposeful as long as one party understands some meaning from the other.