When we live with another and in a close relationship it is very common to think we know exactly what our partner is thinking or what they are about to do. This just happens in many relationships. Sometimes we are absolutely right. But sometimes we are not.
And that is the point of this article. Often we can see that our mate should just do such and such, especially when we are having a disagreement. If they only said or did this then everything would be better.
Asking Our Partners for Things is a Skill
I know I have fallen into this way of thinking many, many times. In fact I have said to my partner, “Could you just have said it this way? I would be able to respond so much better than the way you said it.”
I think I am saying it well, but any time I do this he comes back with his sarcasm and says, “Why don’t you just give me a script so I can follow it.” And when he says this I always feel bad.
I don’t want to censor him, but sometimes he is too abrupt. I just want to make him a little softer, not control him. We continue to work on the softening part. We don’t want to make each other upset.
Ask for What You Need Without Pummeling Your Loved One
So it is a balancing act. Getting what I want, without pushing him too hard. And really that’s what finding a balance in any relationship is all about.
We, the two of us, are in this together. We both want things the way we want them. Some of us (by which I mean me) are more used to asking or telling the other what we need, want, etc. This leaves the other feeling pummeled.
I have had to learn over the years that he has a right to the way he thinks and feels, and it is not up to me to show him how to live. He had plenty of years of living before he even met me. But this was a slow lesson for me. I was single before meeting him and I had always paved my own way.
This was the way I interacted with life. I was just forceful. It seemed to work out for me, but I was not in a close relationship. That’s when it started to get sticky. I was too much. I wanted everything my way. There was no room for him.
Be Gentle and Respect Your Partner’s Boundaries
That’s when I started to understand that I had to stay in my own lane and not bleed into his when I wanted something. Maybe you are like me and just say things or do things to get what you want. If you do, more power to you. But you might want to take a moment to see if you are stepping on the one you love.
I know I was. And when I stopped and realized that I didn’t have to control everything all the time—well, our life together got a whole lot better.
He became a little more assertive and I got quieter and a little more secure. I can’t tell you what is right for your relationship. But I can ask you to consider whether you are running in your partner’s lane as well as your own. Because if you are, that’s way too much work.
Communicate More Openly in Your Relationship
Read a Book About Relationships
Learn how to communicate in ways that feel comfortable and respect one another’s autonomy, by reading Linda’s book Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might just help you communicate in gentle ways that help you feel and stay open with each other. 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.