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Communication 101: Men, women, marriage and divorce

Any well-researched study that focuses upon how the sexes communicate can quickly become a riveting read and subsequent sounding board for discussion and learning.

After all, the world is divided into males and females. Men and women date. They marry. Together, they plan, grow families, buy homes, work toward dreams, love, argue ... and sometimes divorce.

What reasonable person could ever argue that communication -- sometimes effective, sometimes not -- between a couple is a core determinant in how their partnership ultimately pans out?

And what reasonable person -- of either sex -- would disagree with the notion that males and females often seem to communicate in materially different ways?

An analysis of sex-based communication styles concludes that such is the case, noting "the classic divide in communication between men and women."

In many ways, the sexes simply do relate to each other in gender-defined ways, which, while sometimes promoting effective exchanges, quite often militate against an easy understanding

The above-cited study states that, most fundamentally (and concededly, in a general -- not absolute -- sense), couples' communication breakdowns owe to differences in information conveyance styles. Some researchers posit that childhood-learned behaviors very early in life fashion a mindset in many females that stresses sharing, inclusion, discussion and making connections. Conversely, "buddy groups" in adolescence teach boys to focus on goals, outcomes and "activities other than conversation."

Fast forward that ahead to adulthood and marriage, and it is easy to see how communication glitches can lead to problems.

As stated, such categorizing can only be termed, as it is in the above-noted source, as "general tendencies" of the sexes.

Nonetheless, it is crystal clear that childhood learning impacts adult behavior, and certainly in the realm of communication.

Failed communication is often a central catalyst in divorce. The research findings on sex-based communication are interesting for the insight they can lend into why marriages fail in certain instances.

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