Couples' Stories

The Permauls: Communication Box

By Jessica Anzai-Permaul on 12 June 2018

April’s Newlywed Box was all about communication. This subject is one of my favorites when it comes to marriage, because it’s one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced while married. My husband and I grew up totally different, and we communicate in different ways for everything.

This box had a lot of fun activities, and all the activities required communicating with each other. It showed us that often interpret the same thing in two different ways. For example, when we did origami together, the instructions said to “draw a face on the triangle” to finish the origami fish. Here’s how both of ours turned out:



We both followed directions, but both fish turned out totally different! Another example is we both had to draw our dream houses, and then one person described their house in detail while the other person tried to replicate it. When I described my house to Jeremy, some how a few things got flipped:

IMG_1664 My drawing is on the top in green, his is on the bottom in purple. Even though I was very precise and clear, it still didn’t come up exactly the same!

There was another game that ended up being pretty fun. There were flash cards with questions on them, and each person wrote the answer on their drawing pad and then revealed their answer at the same time. We realized we knew each other pretty well, and had some good laughs!


There were a lot of other fun activities that I normally don’t do with Jeremy, like making goo. It was fun doing something different with him, and I think he liked taking a break from working to just have some fun. One of the booklets included in the box talked about Psychologist John Gottman’s four horsemen of the apocalypse, which describes four communication styles that typically result in the end of a relationship: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. I highly recommend checking out this blog post (click here) from The Gottman Institute on it, which also has a cool little video explaining the four horsemen and what you can do to eliminate them.

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About Jeremy and Jessica:

Jeremy and Jessica met in a school cafeteria while studying abroad in Germany in 2013. After dating for two years, Jeremy asked her to marry him while they were in a hot air balloon watching a beautiful sunrise in Temecula, California. They got married in June 2017 on a pomegranate and lavender farm surrounded by family and friends. Since then, they live and work in Southern California and enjoy camping at the beach, eating cold pizza, dressing up their corgi-mix dog as a small child, and navigating the ups and downs of marriage.

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Topics: Marriage, Subscription Box, Communication

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