This week in counseling I brought up what I call “The Avenue to Mature Communication.” The idea is that some emotionally immature couples do not enjoy the intimacy that emotionally mature couples do. The first step down the avenue is accountability. Mature couples use communication to take responsibility for their words and deeds. This most often takes the form of requesting input from their spouses on how to improve as a partner and constructing sincere apologies. Immature communicators have no use for these two activities.

    The second step down the avenue is vulnerability. Mature communicators are more concerned about NOT bringing up certain subjects than the fear that the subject will backfire on them. Immature communicators will take no such risk and will have a litany of subjects that are unapproachable with their spouses.

    The final step down the avenue is empathy. This occurs when emotionally mature couples use communication to take responsibility for the effect they have on one another, intended or otherwise. Generally, the emotionally immature would rather blame someone else for what they say and do, much less take responsibility for the same.

    If you join the ranks of those who traffic down the avenue of mature communication when relating to your spouse, you can be assured that you will be using communication to its fullest and reap the relational benefits.