How to Build a Bridge with Your Mate

How to Build a Bridge Between You and Your Partner

When we are in a relationship with another person, we often have a hard time being ourselves. We have our own habits and likes and dislikes that are uniquely ours and not our mates. But often when we strive for what we want we create conflict with our partners.

It’s Common and Okay to Be Different From Your Partner

We may occasionally find our differences challenging, like the pensive couple pictured.

We will never be the same as our mate. And there are plenty of reasons why. We usually think very differently than they do. If we don’t know this is very common, we might even think that there is no way that we can ever understand each other because we are so different from our partners.

I hear this often when I begin to work with couples. I often resort to telling them that this is so common they cannot believe it. I tell them that every couple I have helped in my career is like this. One comes from the head and thinks things, and the other feels everything in the body and feels things.

Both are wired the way they are supposed to be and falling in love with their mate is also what is supposed to happen. But people think that if they can’t always see the other’s viewpoint then there must be something wrong.

I know when I met my husband to be, I was sure he was right for me. And he was and is. But he is VERY different from me. I feel everything in the body and come from a feeling point when I describe something.

He comes from facts and figures from his head. And this is right for him. And that is what I want to talk to you about. Since it is very likely that you are not the same as your mate, is it possible for you to build your half of the bridge?

Understanding and Communication Connect Us

Understanding ourselves and sharing our thoughts and feelings, like the couple pictured, helps us connect.

What I mean is that because you will probably not understand exactly how your partner is wired and you still want to connect with them, why not learn to explain yourself to your mate so you can have that connection you crave?

This means you might have to learn what is happening to you when you feel something or think something, and you just can’t take it for granted that your partner is going to know it just because you do.

Learning how to explain something so obvious to us is how we build a bridge to our person. I know my husband cannot understand my feelings unless I explain them to him. I have never done this before, but if I don’t do this, he won’t be able to understand me, and I want understanding because he is my person.

Stay Curious and Gently Encourage Your Partner to Share

Gently encouraging your partner to open and up and share, like the encouraging couple pictured, can help you understand one another.

Sometimes I ask him for his thoughts because I know he always has them. Sometimes he answers, and sometimes he says he isn’t thinking about anything. I have to respect that because he is entitled to his life even though my curiosity is pressing me.

We can’t make our person talk if they don’t want to, even if we are the talkers and would like them to. I have learned to describe things like a monologue so he can understand what I am talking about. Then I ask him if he has any thoughts about what I just said. Sometimes he does, and sometimes he doesn’t. But at least I know, I am connecting, and that’s what I can do for my part of the bridge.

Want to Improve Communication in Your Relationship?

Read a Book About Relationships

'Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship.' A book by Linda Nusbaum.

Learn how to improve communication in your relationship, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might just help both of you feel closer, more connected, and more loved. 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.

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