Talking with your partner about finances, needs, mental health, and other deep topics can feel intimidating even in some of the strongest relationships. While it may feel daunting, communicating through the hard topics can make your relationship stronger and happier in the long run, and it can lead to more incredible and happy memories. The tricky part is knowing where to start. At Integrated Counseling and Wellness, we are strong supporters of having open and honest dialogue with your partner, and we want to show you how:
Feelings can be difficult to convey, but finding a straightforward way of expressing yourself is a crucial part of communicating effectively. You and your partner likely have a foundation of respect when it comes to each other’s feelings, but maybe you lack clarity in the heat of the moment. Taking a second to step back and think about what you really want your partner to know can help you communicate your message in a way that your partner can understand.
Certain topics put people on the defensive, resulting in an argument rather than a simple discussion. Using statements like, “I feel like…” or “I struggle to understand when…” These “I” statements feel like less of an attack than saying, “You hurt me when…” or “You need to stop doing…” Taking ownership of your feelings and explaining your own perception can help your partner hear you better and empathize with your side of the situation.
When initiating a difficult conversation with your partner, be sure to ask them questions about their thoughts and feelings, too. Finding resolution and forming good lines of communication isn’t only about sharing your thoughts, but it’s also about listening to your partner’s thoughts. When you feel like you are struggling to understand their point of view, simply ask questions like, “What can I do to support you?” or, “How do you feel when…”
Knowing where and when to communicate with your partner about trivial matters is important. Bringing up an argument at a family gathering or during a dinner date can quickly lead things to escalate, or it can limit the vulnerability both of you are able to have with each other because there are too many outside factors. Finding an appropriate time or suggesting another time to talk about hard things is a great way to improve your communication skills with each other.
Communication is a crucial aspect of every relationship, and working on improving your skills is a great way to become more honest and open with your partner. When you and your partner feel safe talking about hard things, you are more likely to see eye to eye and build a lasting bond. For more tips on communication or even marriage therapy services, look to Integrated Counseling and Wellness. We offer support and guidance through difficult times, and with a team of therapists who are dedicated to helping you, you can be sure that you and your partner are in good hands.