Learn what to do when your partner doesn’t listen to you.
What to Do When My Partner Doesn’t Listen to Me — Video Transcript
What We Want
Feeling like their partner doesn’t listen is something many people feel in their relationships with their loved ones. Sometimes, we feel like we just want our mate to understand us. We want them to hear us, know our deepest thoughts, and to love us.
Really, that’s all we want: to be loved, to be seen, to be heard.
Our Relationship Role Models Are the Problem
The problem with a lot of couples is that although we learn a lot of skills in life—all of us are professionals, students, or workers in some way—it’s very rare that we learn the skills to be effective in a relationship.
The reason I call them skills: most of us come into relationships with only what we learned at home, where we grew up. We only saw how our parents or caregivers treated each other; that’s our role model.
Following that is how we arrived at “my partner doesn’t listen to me,” instead of “I feel heard.
Now, I’ve been in the therapy world for ten years, helping couples. Although I’ve met some really, really great people, none of them came from perfect households. No one’s parents were perfect role models.
As a result of that, we kind of come into the world assuming that we know how to be in a relationship. Then, we meet our perfect mate and just assume everything’s going to work.
It doesn’t. It leaves us feeling sad and frustrated.
How to Start Being Heard By Your Partner
What I suggest: start getting in touch with what’s happening to you. You’re already aware that you’re feeling sad, alone, and like you’re not being listened to by your husband or wife.
Try telling your husband (or wife), in a soft way—not in a way where you’re disappointed or frustrated—but in a soft way, starting with “I.”
“Honey,” you might start, “I feel sad, because I don’t see you enough, and I’m wondering if you could sit next to me.” Now, I know that sounds a little awkward, because it’s probably not something you’re used to, but that’s how we get our needs met.
Most often what happens to couples, when they are feeling frustrated or alone, is that they are not getting their needs met. This is how you solve that.