Communicating in a couple is the cornerstone of a fulfilling relationship … and the keystone of its longevity. But communicating is not necessarily innate, and does not mean, for example, that you should decipher everything constantly or talk about everything at every moment. How to balance words and actions, master the frictions but also, build in resting points in your daily life? If at first some of these tips may turn out to be unnatural, they will undoubtedly help you establish a healthy relationship in the longer term.
Before thinking about how to communicate well, it is interesting to understand why communicating is important and especially difficult nowadays. Faced with an increasingly overburdened and unrestrained way of life, we sometimes feel that we are running out of time to dialogue every day. Or we simply think we do it, without realising that we do not get to the bottom of things. Making a certain trip or knowing who has tidied the house the last time does not have the same weight as expressing a lack of affection or feeling bad about yourself. However, this lack may have immediate or longer-term repercussions, both from a personal point of view and on family life in particular.
Say what we really feel and who we are
This is unfortunately the trap in which many couples fall without realising it: talking about daily life without going deeper into profound emotions. The first weeks or even the first months, everything seems easy! Imperfections and disagreements are resolved quickly. It is often afterwards that the serious things begin. Communicating with one’s partner means never to stop talking about the real feelings and to show one’s personality to the other person. For example, in a given situation, you could express what you think or explain your reaction to reveal a trait of your personality. Never stop discovering each other is one of the keys to success. An imperative that will cause you to have to be curious too. Just as the necessary obligation to speak in order to avoid the unspoken, often destructive when it reappears later with greater force.
Choosing the right time, the right way
For all that, communicating does not mean talking continuously, there are moments when silence is golden. Knowing how to dose silences is therefore part of a good communication. When you want to evoke an important point, personal or of course related to the couple, think of finding the right balance. If something bothers you and you would like to have a conversation about it, it may be helpful to find the best timing to talk about it. Try to find a time when you and your partner are quiet, not too stressed or pressed for time. You may even consider scheduling a moment to do so if either of you is too busy. The goal is to talk face to face. Avoid raising serious questions in writing, especially by mobile phone. In text messages, letters or emails, certain phrases or expressions can be misinterpreted. Speak in person so that there is no unnecessary miscommunication.
Knowing how to react in case of dispute
Another important point: knowing how to handle the most delicate passages in your couple. Being annoyed about the attitude or a remark from your partner is not abnormal. Everyone will be confronted with this at some point. What matters more is how you approach the situation and resolve the conflict(s). If you get angry with your partner more or less seriously, here are some steps to follow.
Take time. Tell your partner that you want to take a short break by listening to music or walking around for example before continuing the conversation. Give yourself time to do whatever will help you relax. Think about it. Once the storm has passed, think about the situation and why you are angry. Is that the way your partner spoke to you or something he would have done? Discover the real problem then think about how to explain your feelings. After developing on how you feel, remember to stop talking and to listen in a caring manner what he or she has to say. In case of reproach, try to put yourself as much as possible on an equal footing with your partner. Using “you” may look like a kind of attack, which will put him on the defensive and make him less receptive to your message. Instead, try using the “we”. For example, say “I feel like we’re not so close lately” instead of “you’re distant with me.”
Do not expect the other to decipher our thoughts
Then, be honest with yourself. Sometimes the truth hurts, but it is the key to a healthy relationship. Admit that you are not always without blame. Finally, always keep in mind that this is not a battle you must win at all costs. This does not mean you should capitulate, or leave frustrated. But consider that your partner may have something to say that is worth listening to. You cannot assume that your spouse knows what you feel or what you want deep inside. You do not share the same feelings, worldview or thoughts. You might notice such an outcome in relation to the children, but he may not do so. If in doubt, say it out loud.
Good communication does not mean simply speaking and listening, it is also a skill that develops over time for the overwhelming majority of us. It is sometimes difficult to carry out this mission well. The contribution of an outside professional becomes necessary in order to keep a person close who is dear to us. Do not hesitate to contact me to discuss this subject together.