For the last decade, I have dedicated my career to helping couples and individuals navigate the most complex challenges that arise in love so that their love lives can truly thrive. It is my goal and mission to give you all the tips and tools you need to be able to coach yourself at home with these articles and all of the videos we create across our YouTube Channels. I know that we aren’t taught about these concepts in school, and every single person has a different example in their household as they are growing up! Of course these things would be difficult in our adult lives.
Fortunately, there is a solution to every problem, and you are in the right place.
So, first and foremost, we need to get a 360 degree view of the situation and the best way to do that is to become aware of the most common problems. This way, you will learn to recognize them and subsequently diffuse them using the solutions I will provide to you in the second part of this article.
The first mistake that I see when it comes to couples and communication is that very often, people communicate in order to express themselves in order to be understood, but they do not seek to understand. Perhaps this has happened to you? We get so caught up in trying to explain your feelings, your point of view, your needs, and your opinions that you wind up forgetting to take a moment to listen to your partner’s side. In many cases, I see that people actually forget that there is a different side to the story, and the problem with this is that both partners need to feel heard if they are going to be able to operate as a team. To find solutions, it is so important to understand how your partner feels. This is going to clarify why they do the things they do, why they may be frustrated with your actions, and what both of your needs are. Empathy is crucial. If you can’t put yourself in your significant other’s shoes, it will be hard for them to put themselves in your shoes, as well.
It’s a cyclical thing, and it is in your power to shift your approach so that the cycle breaks. By seeking to understand your partner, they will stop being defensive, and you will make much more progress.
The second roadblock to better communication between couples is when people incessantly bring up the past. If you keep bringing up past mistakes from months or years ago, you’re going to remain stuck in the past. You will be unable to move forward.
Similarly, the third issue I wanted to talk about is when a person fixates on their partner’s shortcomings and flaws. I cannot stress the importance of accepting that your significant other is not perfect – no one is. Even just yesterday I was working with a client who was seeking communication advice for couples, and as we began to analyze her situation, we found that there was no positive reinforcement in her dynamic with her husband. She did not praise him, she was not appreciative, she wasn’t in a gratitude-mindset, and neither was he. This was just breeding a hostile environment and was pushing the two of them further and further apart. It got to the point where they didn’t even want to share anything positive with each other because they didn’t feel there was a point to it. The exchanges they did have were either about the problems they were experiencing, or superficial things. As you can imagine, there wasn’t much joy in the relationship at all.
I told her that a very small thing that would make a very big difference would be to validate him. “Notice the efforts he makes, notice things that you admire about him, and remember the qualities that made you fall in love with him in the first place. When you see them, be sure to tell him about them and let him know that he is appreciated. In turn, he will start to warm back up to you and do the same for you.” Little shifts like this can actually go a really long way.
Another thing to keep in mind is the way that you talk to each other. A common mistake I see is when a person is upset about something, and the way that they approach the situation goes something like:
“You never make time for me.”
“You always have something more important to do.”
“You never factor this relationship into your plans.”
The simple act of using “You” as a bullet can make your partner feel hostile towards you. On the other hand, if you can approach your partner and present your point in a more loving way, without starting your sentence with “you always to do,” or, “You never do that,” you can simply say:
“I miss spending time with you. Remember how much fun we used to have? Why don’t we go try that new restaurant that just opened.”
Immediately, you switch from attack-mode to a productive solution.
It’s so important to learn from our mistakes and to learn destructive cycles and patterns. This is how you can create the type of relationship that you’ve always wanted to be in. It takes effort and it takes hard work. As you know, we are here to help you with this, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for one on one coaching. To work with me or a member of my team, all you have to do is click here. We can ask you targeted questions so that we can learn the specifics of your relationship. That way, we can design a custom action plan suited to your relationship’s specific needs.