Can Good Marriages Have BAD Communication?

As of this year, I have been married exactly twice the years I was single. In other words, I have had a lot of practice with communication in marriage. One would think, by this time, I would have mastered the art of knowing what to do and say in most circumstances with regards to my husband.


It IS true: I am a much better communicator than I was when we were first married. AND, since I’ve studied the temperaments, my scores have jumped into the top 5% in communicating successfully with a spouse.  Sadly, I blew it big time this week.

Duane is a BLUE/RED. His strongest temperament is the BLUE– organized, planner, sensitive, thoughtful and loyal to the core.

My strongest temperament is YELLOW– disorganized, spontaneous, spirited and fun- everything IN THE MOMENT.

Friday morning, as I was leaving for my yearly doctor’s appointment, Duane was leaving for work and said, “Let me know how your check-up goes.”  I said, “Of course, honey.”

My girlfriend drove me to the early appointment.  It seemed to take forever. The doctor was running late.  Since she was a new doctor for me, there was the whole gathering of background information included in the dreaded physical exam.

It was lunch time when we left the appointment. So glad it was over, we chose a favorite place to have lunch. Over our clam chowder, we caught up on gab, laughing and having a wonderful time. She pulled into my driveway to drop me off about 2:30pm.

I walked in the front door and saw Duane’s serious look as he said slowly, “Do you ever think of me when you are out for the day?”

It was such a loaded question on so many levels. Dare I answer him without analyzing each innuendo? If I tell the truth…no, he doesn’t want the truth.

My life passed before my eyes, what had I forgotten? What had I done wrong? Was I supposed to have been home? Had I forgotten plans with him? I knew I was in trouble…just not exactly sure why!

He asked me to look at my phone.

Oh dear.

There had been FOUR calls from Duane since 11am.

See, here is the deal. I don’t like the phone. I carry a cell phone because my husband bought it for me. However, it is for emergencies only, in my mind. I don’t talk on the phone while I am with my friends.  It is so rude to use the phone in restaurants. Yes, I am such a mannerly person.

However, in this instance, I was also very wrong.

My thoughtful BLUE husband had been concerned for the outcome of my doctor’s appointment. We had just discussed, last night, my cancer free condition going back 6 years now.  Duane had worried all day that I might have had a bad check-up. In fact, it was HE who had remembered how long I have been cancer free.

Poor communication is always a possibility, if you are YELLOW; because, IN THE MOMENT, you are focused only on whom you are with and what you are doing. I never looked at my phone at all.

I apologized profoundly for not having my phone on and promised never to forget again.  I am truly sorry I let the day get away without checking in with him and, am truly upset with my lack of focus.

But, both of us know I will probably forget again.

Marriage is about loving each other – and, forgiving each other – even when communication goes awry.



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