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Communication Tip:

Originally written by Kerry for tutorial reference material, rewritten for Communication Weekly.

Wedding Guest Vow—the perfect wedding gift

This tip is one of the most thoughtful wedding gifts you can give; it's about supporting everyone concerned in having mutually satisfying supportive relationships. However, it only works if the wedding couple have included a Fidelity Agreement in their vows.

Overview:

The Wedding Guest Vow supports open, honest, and responsible communication. It presumes that you, a relative/friend/guest of one or both wedding partners, are willing to accept responsibility for the effects of your leadership-communication skills. It’s a given that all concerned agree that all communications, verbal, non-verbal, and psychic, have an effect.

Print, sign, and hand to both wedding partners their own copy of the Wedding Guest Vow (you may reword it).

Wedding Guest Vow:

You have my word that I am available for clearing and problem-solving throughout your relationship. In return I'm asking you to agree to call me, or another wedding guest, the first time an upset or an experience of abuse is not resolved through to mutual satisfaction within 24-hours. This includes calling me the first time you have a thought about cheating or divorcing. I do not want to hear from someone else that you have caused cheating or that you are divorced.

By accepting this vow you are agreeing to be supported in communicating problems responsibly, from cause as opposed to from blame.

If I am unable to assist in resolving a dispute or dissatisfaction between you and your spouse, to include unacknowledged* verbal/non-verbal abuse, I will call another guest and together we will intervene through to mutual satisfaction.

You have my word that if I experience anything that does not feel good or right between the two of you, directly or from another, I will communicate it verbally to both of you. I will not withhold from either of you any judgments or any rumors I may hear.

I will ask anyone who communicates negative gossip about you from whom they heard it. If they refuse to divulge the name of their source I will ask them if they’d be willing to tell you to your face what they told me; I’ll also remind them that you’re going to want to know the source. If he/she says they won’t tell you I’ll inform them that I will be telling you what they are passing around about you.

This Wedding Guest Vow does not mean that you must stay married, only that you will have discussed thoughts about divorce with me or another guest prior to initiating a divorce; it does however mean that if you decide to divorce that you will do so amicably, supportively, and with love.

This gift presumes that you have included a fidelity agreement in your marriage vow (read Creating a marriage vow that precludes cheating).

Do we have an agreement?

You may copy/print any portion of this tip; please acknowledge the Communication Weekly Newsletter or Kerry.

With aloha,

Kerry

* Unacknowledged: When you communicate abusively it's your responsibility to acknowledge (to let the other person know) that you know that it was abusive. If you didn't hear yourself having communicated abusively, then you will eventually set it up for your partner to remind you, to give you feedback. If your partner says, "That doesn't feel good" and you argue or don't communicate, "I get that that was abusive," it reveals that you are in denial. The test for abuse is always the recipient's experience; someone addicted to abusing others is most always in denial and will argue or get angry when the recipient communicates, "That didn't feel good." Invariably the abuser will blame the recipient for starting the specific abuse in question; the "victim" will later blame the abuser for not acknowledging each and every abuse.

Conversely, if through your leadership-communication skills, you set it up (create space, non-verbally grant permission) for your partner to communicate abusively and you don't insist that he/she acknowledge the abuse then you are accumulating reasons to justify a divorce. To let an abuse slide, to go unacknowledged, reveals that you are masterminding a divorce.

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Check back occasionally for minor edits (last edited 8/7/13)

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