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Love Talk: Speak Each Other's Language Like You Never Have Before

Love Talk: Speak Each Other's Language Like You Never Have Before

by Leslie Parrott
Les Parrott


Learn More | Meet Leslie Parrott | Meet Les Parrott
Chapter One

CAN WE TALK?

Why We Wrote This Book

Life is deep and simple, and what our society gives us is shallow and complicated.
FRED ROGERS

We talk a lot about talking.

In nearly every conceivable corner of North America and in several places around the world, Les and I have demonstrated techniques and tools for improving a couple’s communication. And it would be impossible to add up the number of times a couple has come into our counseling office after a communication meltdown and given us the common refrain: “We just don’t communicate.”

To say we talk a lot about talking is no understatement. In fact, we talk so much about it that we have been asked on numerous occasions by counselees, seminar attendees, and publishers why we have never written a book on communication. And our answer has remained the same: because there are already many good books out there, and until we have something groundbreaking to say on the subject, we don’t feel compelled to write about it. After all, we were doing our best in our own marriage to put into practice the principles and techniques other experts had proposed. Truthfully, we weren’t always doing it well, however. And even when we did, we often found ourselves wanting something more—something deeper that would connect our spirits. Isn’t that the goal of becoming soul mates? Communication with the one you love is more than the mere exchange of words, even if done with elegant skill. Communication, if used to full advantage, holds the promise of bringing two people together at a level so profound that anyone on the outside can never truly comprehend it.

So we set off to crack the code for meaningful conversation. We wanted to learn how to speak each other’s language like we never had before. At least, that’s the way Les puts it. I think of it more as uncovering some of the
deep mystery of male-female relationships—while knowing this relationship is too complex and multifaceted to be completely codified. The point is that for more than a decade we have been on the lookout for this seemingly elusive secret to deep and meaningful communication—something we both longed for. We wanted to find the means to becoming more understanding and better understood. We were determined not to get sidetracked by anything shallow or complicated, so we were in pursuit of a deep and simple plan that would move our communication from good to great. If we discovered a new technique or a clever method along the way, we took note, but new techniques were not our primary goal. We wanted to get to the heart of the matter. We wouldn’t settle for a mere handful of golden nuggets; we were in search of the mother lode: the secret of better communication.

What great delight it is to see the ones we love and then to have speech with them.
Vincent McNabb

And we found it. The book you hold in your hands is the result of many years of research, and it will show you exactly what we discovered: a deep and simple plan for everything a loving conversation has to offer. We call it Love Talk.

WHAT’S THE GOAL?

Allow us to come alongside you for a moment and imagine where you are. You may be at the beginning stages of a dating relationship or on the brink of commitment, about to be engaged. You may be in the first few years of your marriage, or you may have decades under your belt. You may be in a second marriage, struggling to blend a family. Perhaps you’re in a small group with other couples or a class that’s dedicated to improving your marriage. Wherever you find yourself at the moment, we want you to know that we have written and rewritten these words with you in mind. We have reviewed each chapter, each paragraph, while putting ourselves, as best we can, in your place. We want this book to be an effective tool for any and every couple who wants to find a better way of speaking each other’s language.

We want you to thoroughly understand one another and your specific communication styles. We don’t want to simply hand off a few new techniques you can try on for a while to see if they work; we want to give you an experience that will take you to a new level of communication, deeper for you than it has ever been before. After reading this book, we want you to enjoy the incomparable comfort of saying what’s on your mind and revealing what’s in your heart. We are going to give you a means for communicating like you never have before.

So with this goal in mind, we want to give you our first challenge. After working with many couples, we are convinced that you are far more likely to improve your situation and meet your personal goals for communication if you clearly articulate them. That’s why we want to encourage you—right now—to take just a few minutes to write down a sentence or two describing your personal goal in reading this book. How would you like your communication to be different as a result of the time you will spend with us in these pages? Make your goal specific and concrete. For example, you may want to have a conversation that allows you to talk freely about a difficult topic that has been on your heart. Or perhaps you want to be able to talk to each other about disciplining your children without having a heated debate. Or maybe you simply want to enjoy a leisurely conversation over dinner together three days a week. You get the point. The first Love Talk Workbook exercise will give you a helpful structure for noting your goals and show you more specifically how you can chart your progress.

All the exercises we will be pointing you to in this book are found in the accompanying Love Talk workbooks—one workbook for men and another for women, so you can complete the exercises independently and then discuss them. These workbooks are available at your local bookstore or at LesandLeslie.com.

Exercise 1

Getting Where You Want to Go

Before moving further into this chapter, we urge you to take inventory of where you are and where you want to be. This initial workbook exercise will set the stage for the work you will do in upcoming chapters.
We have deliberately whittled this book down to a manageable size. We aren’t interested in overloading you with information, and we certainly don’t want you to get bogged down or weary along the way. So we’re shooting straight: once you and your partner discover the secret of Love Talk, we believe your conversations will never be the same.

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