Trying to work out how to talk to your partner?
It is common to be misunderstood in your relationship. I’m a couples counselor. The number one thing people want fixed, when they come to my therapy room, is “being misunderstood.” Only they don’t call it a misunderstanding: they call it “communication”.
So if we are not being understood by our partner, or we don’t know how to communicate with them, what do we do? Well there are a lot of things that I know about, and none of them come naturally to us at all. But we can learn them.
Learning How to Talk With Your Partner Starts With Understanding That Things Change
Here is what I know. We, as humans, are good at being ourselves. We know what we do, what we like, and what is important to us. We also know what we don’t like. And this is the issue. When we couple with our beloved, we imagine that we are always going to feel that same feeling when we first met.
You remember, right? It is the one where you feel so at home it is as if you have been waiting all your life to be with your special person. And then you finally meet them. Well this wonderful feeling lasts sometimes for a year or two, but then things start to go a little haywire.
Your partner doesn’t get you the way you thought they did. They didn’t understand what you were talking about and they might have even gotten mad at you.
Learning How to Talk to Your Partner is Important Because No One is a Mind Reader
This is where we start to get the sense that there are two people in the relationship, not just one mind-meld. But we loved it when it was just one big mind and you were both in it so most people want to push their partner back into that perfect time.
Because we can’t go backwards, we then start to squirm about what we don’t like in the relationship. We start to try and get our partner to be just so and do things our way so we can feel better about things. But it is often the case that our partner doesn’t want to be changed and begins to either fight or ignore us.
And now we have squabbles where we never had them before. It might even seem as if everything becomes an argument and we can’t find any common ground. We still love our person, but we are wearing out and becoming exhausted.
Understanding How You Respond When Upset Improves How You Talk to Your Partner
So what do we do? Well here is where you start. Remember how we all want to go back to that good feeling? Well, we have to grow out of this moment and realize that there are two people in the relationship who both deserve to feel great and loved. Not just YOU.
So here is the road ahead—and it’s not just a communication tool, it’s a life plan. Both people in a relationship have to start to understand themselves. Here’s the first step: begin by understanding how you get upset. And if you master this then you can figure out how you can ask your partner without criticism or anger, and with a feather, to do things differently.
Improving How You Talk to Your Partner Comes By Remembering That You Love Them
And he or she has to be evolved enough to not take your request personally and get offended. So you see there are a lot of feelings involved with talking with our special person in a way that would make us happy.
But the bottom line is really this: treat your partner as the precious jewel that they are to you. You love them. Act loving. It is all you really need.
Need Some Help Learning How to Talk to Your Partner?
Read a Book About Relationships
If you’d like to get a better sense of how to talk to your partner, try reading Linda’s book Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It just might help you communicate more effectively and more openly, helping you understand each others needs and motivations, ultimately helping you better accept one another. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.