Dan Trathen DMin, PhD Clinical Psychologist & Certified Business & Life Coach

Clean Mental Filters Help us Pay Attention in Marriage

I know when it is time to change our furnace filter. I begin to sneeze when the heat comes on.  We are told to change these filters every month or so, but I confess that I get busy and forget.  Likewise, the automotive industry recommends we change the oil filter in our car every three months or three thousand miles. Both manufactures suggest that regular maintenance will save money and lengthen their product’s life. Whether this is true or not, the principles of prevention are important in all areas of life.  Seeking to understand each another is important marriage maintenance.  When it doesn’t happen it may be because of mental filters.  Dirty filters are whatever clogs clear communication.  Let’s take a look at three types of mental filters in marriage.


The first is Inattention.  Many of us may have heard our partner say or have said to them, “are you listening to me?”  Inattention is an obstacle to clear communication.  Other examples of inattention are too much noise in the room, preoccupation, or being too tired to communicate.  When we are aware of these complications in communication we need to tell our partner and discuss another time to talk rather than just trying to fake it.

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