I’ve noticed a growing trend when it comes to solving or discussing relationship issues with a widower. Instead of talking to each other, the couple will try to solve their problems via text messaging, instant messaging, or email instead of on the phone or in person. Often it seems when relationship issues are worked on through this method it seems like the problem is never resolved to either party’s satisfaction or misunderstandings occur and the problem gets worse.
All of these technologies are great communication tools but when it comes to relationship communication they can be easy for both parties to hide behind. It’s a lot easier to send a text, IM, or email instead of talking with someone about a problem. I know that when Marathon Girl and I are having a tough day it’s a lot easier for me to send a text to tell her something then pick up the phone. Yet, when I call her instead of typing out a message, we usually resolve the situation sooner and get back to loving each other again.
I’ve noticed the same thing with my working relationships too. At my day job I need to communicate people in Europe and Asia on a daily basis. When a task or issue comes up, usually it’s faster more convenient to shoot off an email or IM instead of picking up the phone. Because of time and language differences an email chain can drag on for days before I understand what the person needs or get some clarification on the project. This usually leaves me and the person on the other end frustrated. So at work I’ve made it a priority to pick up the phone and call people if I have questions about an email or task that’s been assigned to me. I’ve found that not only does it resolve or clarify the issue faster than email or IM, I’ve also have better work relationships with my overseas co-workers.
So today’s suggestion is if you have an issue or need to talk to your widower about a relationship issue, pick up the phone and call him instead of emailing, texting, or IMing him. (The same goes for widowers.) Better yet, if possible, do a face-to-face meeting so you can pick up on his non-verbal signals he may be sending. One of the keys to keeping a relationship moving forward is being able to communicate with each other. Learning how to effectively do that in person or over the phone will help build those skills more effectively than text messages or other forms of electronic communication.