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I attended a talk yesterday about marketing which I found to be very interesting. But a comment was made which made me sit up:

The question was asked: “What is the key to a successful marriage?” The answer it turned out was not communication but rather “Trust”.  Fair enough but the comment was along the lines that it is an old wives tale that communication is the key factor.  In fact communication is around 3rd or 4th in importance.  The presenter provided an example:  A husband comes home with lipstick on his collar and says to his wife “Honey, let’s talk, let’s communicate”  The point?  Lot’s of communicating but no trust.

This really bothered me and I chewed on it for some time until I realised the problem with this statement. First off I know without a shadow of a doubt that communication is THE universal solvent and consequently THE key factor in any relationship.  Secondly any husband who came home with lipstick on his collar would not be communicating.  Any person who violates the agreements of a relationship (whether marriage, work, friends) reduces his communication.  Because of the broken agreements he (or she) will look to avoid contact and communication and will, in a sense, be hiding.

Thus, trust is broken because of the breach of trust, followed by no or reduced communication.  And in the reverse trust can only exist after communication and can only be maintained with further communication.  In the example above, it will only be through truthful communication that this hapless husband will be able to begin the tough road to regained trust.

I felt much better when I saw this.  My faith remains firm – it is communication that remains the universal solvent.

(takes a breath, takes a seat)