Do you feel like no one is listening – that your husband or partner never hears what you say? I have felt like that sometimes and here are some tips I have learned for really connecting and communicating with your husband or partner. Note – these tips are about you – because you are the only one that can change your life and increase your own happiness!
First – Make it positive.
In my experience, many women, if they looked at their communication, would be surprised to see how much of their communication is negative – accusations, sarcasm, complaints, and just generally negative comments that they would never have used with their partner before they were married or living together. This includes non-verbal communication, as well – the silent treatment, withdrawing affection, slamming cupboards, etc. At one time, I did this until my partner told me he wished he had not come home. I gradually learned to do better, because I found it made me happier. I know, I know – your partner may deserve it – and they should be doing more and your anger or negativity may seem justified! BUT – I am writing this so YOU will be happier – these tips will make you happier!
Second – start appreciating.
I know it might be hard – but a partner who is appreciated wants to hear what you have to say and wants to please you even more! No matter how you feel – try an experiment for a week.
- Pause before you say anything and ask yourself if this will add to the peace and comfort you want in your home and relationship.
- Once every day, find something (there must be some good things you are getting from this relationship?) somehow to give a sincere and heartfelt compliment or specific thank you to your partner.
- Once every day give some physical affection, a hug, an unexpected kiss, hand squeeze or a touch in passing.
Try it, and you will find that you will have less to say, and your partner will be more receptive to what you really want to share. You can try the free Mini-Meditation and also purchase a Mini-Meditation about Forgiveness and releasing Worry from Amazon at AdvisorIsIn.com/Meditations
Next, – Divide your strategy
Ask yourself – Is this something my partner will want to hear?
Yep, they would want to hear it – if they only knew, they would be interested…
- Find a time when he is not in the middle of something. Men’s brains don’t allow multi-tasking like women’s do. So don’t try to talk when he is watching his favorite game or TV show or concentrating on fixing or building something.
- Don’t talk about important information when he is really tired or already upset. (How many times I have tried to fix a relationship by insisting on talking when it was clearly a bad time…!)
- Always, always talk about what YOU would like, what you need, how this or that makes you feel loved, why going there would be fun, why that would make you happy. Good men want to please you and feel successful when you are pleased and happy. If this is not true of your partner – you need to re-assess why you are in the relationship – but that’s another newsletter!
- Never, never talk about what they must do or how they must do it – what they have to do, what they should do, what their mother or mother-in-law expects them to do. Men generally resist being told what to do – even if it is a superb idea and they might have done it if they thought of it!
Nope, realistically – they will never want to hear this.
- Ask yourself if discussing the issue will be important a year from now – if not, just let it go – don’t waste your precious time and energy on anything negative.
- Ask yourself if talking about it will really increase your happiness or their happiness – if not, just let it go, see above.
- Ask yourself if, even though it might get a negative reaction – is it important for your own wellbeing that you say how you feel?
- If the issue really will be important a year from now, and you feel you must express something – Pick your time, as noted under “Yep, they would want to hear it…”
- Pause – feelings come and go, step away for awhile, think about what you really want – to be loved, to be respected, to be treated well. Make sure what you say will increase your chances of being loved, respected and treated well. (I hate to think of the times I have spoiled an outing or ruined an evening by bringing up something from the past, or something that wouldn’t really matter to me when I thought about it later.)
- When you decide what to say – Talk about you, not them i.e. Use “I” messages – “I feel neglected when you spend all evening at the computer, is there anything we can do about that because I am feeling lonely?” Rather than “You are always on the computer, you obviously think it is more important than me or your kids!”
- Plan to be clear and stay in the present. Do not use idle threats, name-calling or anything for which you might later have to apologize.
- Try what is taught in 12 Step programs – I have never heard a better way. The slogan is – Say what you mean, mean what you say, and don’t say it mean.
And best wishes to you – I dare you to try these little changes and see if it does not lighten your heart and improve your relationships and communication!