true listening in action

Since true listening is love in action, nowhere is it more appropriate than in marriage. Yet most couples never truly listen to each other. Couples are often surprised, even horrified, when we suggest to them that among the things they should do is talk to each other by appointment. It seems rigid and unromantic and unspontaneous to them. Yet true listening can occur only when time is set aside for it and conditions are supportive of it. It cannot occur when people are driving, or cooking or tired and anxious to sleep or easily interrupted or in a hurry. Romantic “love” is effortless, and couples are frequently reluctant to shoulder the effort and discipline of true love and listening. But when and if they finally do, the results are superbly gratifying.

M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled