Good communication in relationships

Relationships and communication - Better Health Channel

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Read the full fact sheet
  • Communication is important in relationships. We need to talk openly and be good listeners.
  • Most people can learn how to communicate more effectively.
  • Share positive feelings about your partner with them.
  • It is better to act early if you are having difficulties, rather than waiting for the situation to get worse.

Importance of communication

Good communication is an important part of all relationships and is an essential part of any healthy partnership. All relationships have ups and downs, but a healthy communication style can make it easier to deal with conflict and build a stronger and healthier partnership.

We often hear how important communication is, but not what it is and how we can use good communication in our relationships.

What is communication?

By definition, communication is the transfer of information from one place to another. In relationships, communication allows to you explain to someone else what you are experiencing and what your needs are. The act of communicating not only helps to meet your needs, but it also helps you to be connected in your relationship.

Communicating clearly in a relationship

Talk to each other. No matter how well you know and love each other, you cannot read your partner’s mind. We need to communicate clearly to avoid misunderstandings that may cause hurt, anger, resentment or confusion.

It takes 2 people to have a relationship and each person has different communication needs and styles. Couples need to find a way of communicating that suits their relationship. Healthy communication styles require practice and hard work. Communication will never be perfect all the time.

Be clear when communicating with your partner, so that your message can be received and understood. Double check your understanding of what your partner is saying.

When you talk to your partner, try to:

  • set aside time to talk without interruption from other people or distractions like phones, computers or television
  • think about what you want to say
  • be clear about what you want to communicate
  • make your message clear, so that your partner hears it accurately and understands what you mean
  • talk about what is happening and how it affects you
  • talk about what you want, need and feel – use ‘I’ statements such as ‘I need’, ‘I want’ and ‘I feel’
  • accept responsibility for your own feelings
  • listen to your partner. Put aside your own thoughts for the time being and try to understand their intentions, feelings, needs and wants (this is called empathy)
  • share positive feelings with your partner, such as what you appreciate and admire about them, and how important they are to you
  • be aware of your tone of voice
  • negotiate and remember that you don’t have to be right all the time. If the issue you are having is not that important, try to let the issue go, or agree to disagree.

Non-verbal communication

When we communicate, we can say a lot without speaking. Our body posture, tone of voice and the expressions on our face all convey a message. These non-verbal means of communicating can tell the other person how we feel about them.

If our feelings don’t fit with our words, it is often the non-verbal communication that gets ‘heard’ and believed. For example, saying ‘I love you’ to your partner in a flat, bored tone of voice, gives 2 very different messages. Notice whether your body language reflects what you are saying.

Listening and communication

Listening is a very important part of effective communication. A good listener can encourage their partner to talk openly and honestly. Tips for good listening include:

  • Keep comfortable eye contact (where culturally appropriate).
  • Lean towards the other person and make gestures to show interest and concern.
  • Have an open, non-defensive, fairly relaxed posture with your arms and legs uncrossed.
  • Face the other person – don’t sit or stand sideways.
  • Sit or stand on the same level to avoid looking up to or down on the other person.
  • Avoid distracting gestures such as fidgeting with a pen, glancing at papers, or tapping your feet or fingers.
  • Be aware that physical barriers, noise or interruptions will make good communication difficult. Mute telephones or other communication devices to ensure you are really listening.
  • Let the other person speak without interruption.
  • Show genuine attention and interest.
  • Use assertive statements like ‘I feel…about…’, ‘What I need is…’.
  • Be aware of your tone.
  • Be prepared to take time out if you are feeling really angry about something. It might be better to calm down before you address the issue.
  • Ask for feedback on your listening from the other person.

Improving communication in a relationship

Open and clear communication can be learnt. Some people find it hard to talk and may need time and encouragement to express their views. These people may be good listeners, or they may be people whose actions speak louder than their words.

You can help to improve your communication by:

  • building companionship – sharing experiences, interests and concerns with your partner, and showing affection and appreciation
  • sharing intimacy – intimacy is not only a sexual connection. Intimacy is created by having moments of feeling close and attached to your partner. It means being able to comfort and be comforted, and to be open and honest. An act of intimacy can be as simple as bringing your partner a cup of tea because you can tell they are tired
  • finding one or 2 key issues you can agree on, such as how finances are distributed, a goal you have, or your parenting styles or strategies.

To improve the way you communicate, start by asking questions such as:

  • What things cause conflict between you and your partner? Are they because you are not listening to each other?
  • What things bring you happiness and feelings of connection?
  • What things cause you disappointment and pain?
  • What things don’t you talk about and what stops you talking about them?
  • How would you like your communication with your partner to be different?

If possible, ask these questions with your partner and share your responses. Consider, and try, ways to communicate differently. See whether the results improve your communication.

When you are more aware of how you communicate, you will be able to have more control over what happens between you. While it may not be easy at first, opening up new areas of communication can lead to a more fulfilling relationship.

Some things are difficult to communicate

Most of us find some experiences or topics difficult to talk about. It may be something that is painful or makes us feel uncomfortable. For example, some people find it difficult to express their emotions. It is often the things that cannot be talked about that hurt the most.

If you are having difficulty expressing yourself, or talking with your partner about something, you might find it helps to talk to a counsellor.

Managing conflict with communication

Tips for how to manage conflict with communication include:

  • Avoid using the silent treatment.
  • Don’t jump to conclusions. Find out all the facts rather than guessing at motives.
  • Discuss what actually happened. Don’t judge.
  • Learn to understand each other, not to defeat each other.
  • Talk using the future and present tense, not the past tense.
  • Concentrate on the major problem, and don’t get distracted by other minor problems.
  • Talk about the problems that hurt your or your partner’s feelings, then move on to problems about differences in opinions.
  • Use ‘I feel’ statements, not ‘You are’ statements.

Seeking help for communication issues

If you can’t seem to improve the communication in your relationship, consider talking with a relationship counsellor. Counsellors are trained to recognise the patterns in a couple’s communication that are causing problems and to help change those patterns, as well as providing strategies, tips and a safe place to explore issues.

You could also consider doing a course that is relevant to your relationship. It is better to act early and talk to someone about your concerns, rather than wait until things get worse.

Where to get help

  • A counsellor
  • Relationships Australia Tel. 1300 364 277
  • Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) Tel. (03) 9486 3077
  • 1800 RESPECT Tel. 1800 737 732
  • Beyond Blue Tel. 1300 22 4636
  • Family Relationship Advice Line Tel. 1800 050 321
  • MensLine Australia Tel. 1300 78 99 78
  • Qlife Tel. 1800 184 527
  • WIRE (Women’s Information and Referral Exchange) Tel. 1300 134 130

  • Partners: a guide to successful adult relationships, Relationships Australia. 

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Content on this website is provided for information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not in any way endorse or support such therapy, service, product or treatment and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. The information and materials contained on this website are not intended to constitute a comprehensive guide concerning all aspects of the therapy, product or treatment described on the website. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions and to ascertain whether the particular therapy, service, product or treatment described on the website is suitable in their circumstances. The State of Victoria and the Department of Health shall not bear any liability for reliance by any user on the materials contained on this website.

Reviewed on: 24-02-2022

How To Communicate In A Relationship, According To Experts – Forbes Health

Communication doesn’t always come easy, whether it’s with a romantic partner or someone else. But it’s key to the overall success and sustainability of such partnerships.

While some people have no problem communicating their needs in a clear and respectful way, others may struggle when it comes to expressing themselves—and that can make maintaining healthy relationships especially challenging.

Here’s a closer look at the different types of communication, how to work on the way you listen and talk to others and when it may be wise to turn to a professional for help.

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Benefits of Good Communication in a Relationship

Communication is the foundation of any relationship, says Darcy Sterling, a licensed clinical social worker in New York and host of E! Network’s Famously Single. “The extent to which each partner is skilled at expressing themselves, their needs and their preferences is the greatest indicator of the health and fulfillment of the relationship,” she says.

Research shows that in addition to allowing you to express concerns in a relationship, communication can help you problem-solve. “Communication is what keeps couples on the same page and feeling like they are solving problems together rather than against one another,” says Sarah Epstein, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Philadelphia and Dallas. Effective communication also enables partners to disagree in productive, respectful ways, she adds.

Clear dialogue matters in any relationship. Some individuals might focus more on the quality of communication in intimate connections and have higher expectations of romantic partners than with family or friends, says Sterling, but the importance of communication expands beyond that.

Certain skills are necessary to maintain open channels of communication that enable relationships to thrive, whether with a romantic partner or someone else.

“Every relationship requires communication—and the quality of that communication is a predictor of how fulfilling the relationship is for both people,” says Sterling.

We all need open communication in relationships to bridge gaps in the face of a misunderstanding, and to get through our most difficult challenges. “Open communication is the spine that holds up a relationship whether it is thriving or under strain,” Epstein says.

But talking it out isn’t just about getting through the tough stuff—like disagreeing with your boss about work hours or arguing with your brother about chores—it’s what helps people deepen and fortify their relationships, too. “Good communicators use their skills to communicate their appreciation, love and respect,” says Epstein.

Good vs. Poor Communication in a Relationship

At its most basic, the difference between good and poor communication comes down to problem solving and intimacy. “Good communication clarifies problems and creates closeness between partners, while poor communication intensifies issues and creates distance between partners,” says Epstein.

According to each expert, people exhibit good communication when they:

  • Pay attention and listen while their partner speaks
  • Listen to understand, rather than listen to respond
  • Validate their partner’s thoughts and feelings (often by acknowledging and repeating back some of what was said)
  • Ask questions
  • Understand, even when their partner has different perspectives and opinions
  • Don’t raise their voice

Meanwhile, individuals with poor communication habits might:

  • Interrupt
  • Act in passive aggressive ways
  • Hold grudges
  • Tip-toe around each other
  • Guess or assume their partner’s feelings
  • Sweep problems under the rug rather than hash them out
  • Argue repeatedly over the same subject
  • Call their partner names
  • Make threats
  • Raise their voice

The ability to consistently communicate well in a relationship can help people face challenges and hardships more productively, according to Epstein. “Healthy communication helps couples de-escalate a situation, stay calm under stress, use humor appropriately, apologize effectively and make partners feel heard and understood—even during very stressful moments,” she says.

Seeking Relationship Counseling?

Whatever challenges you are facing, couples therapy can help you improve your relationship. Get help with Talkspace, you deserve to be happy!

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4 Types of Communication Styles

Researchers generally group communication into three categories: Assertive, passive or aggressive communication. Additionally, people use nonverbal communication to send messages to one another without words at all. Here are four communication styles:

1. Assertive Communication

This is when you speak in a direct manner while communicating compassion and a desire to compromise on ways to meet your needs, the experts note. “Assertive communication involves clear, appropriate, respectful expression,” says Epstein. “It comes from a place of clarity about what a person needs.”

2. Passive Communication

Communicating passively means you tend to defer to others when it’s time to make a decision, says Sterling. Passive communicators typically accommodate others and avoid resistance. “They are highly conflict-avoidant, tend to have a very long fuse and are more likely to walk away from a relationship than advocate for their needs within the relationship,” she says.

3. Aggressive Communication

Aggressive communication often involves standing up for your own rights at the risk of possibly disregarding another person’s feelings. A person who resorts to this approach may likely have a low tolerance for emotional discomfort and tends to get upset more frequently than others, says Sterling. “When they are escalated, they have a need to resolve the conflict immediately, which more often than not results in the situation escalating because they’re so caught up in their own emotions that they don’t take into account whether their partner is capable or willing to discuss the issue,” she says.

4. Nonverbal Communication

This type of communication allows people to communicate information about their needs, attitudes, emotions and intentions without using words. Nonverbal communication can be healing and informative to couples when used in non-passive-aggressive ways. “Good nonverbal communication looks like relaxed posture, mirroring body language and eye contact while talking,” says Epstein. Though, it can take practice to pick up on certain cues.

Expert-Backed Tips on How to Improve Your Communication

The strategies below can help you learn how to better communicate with your partner, friends, family members and even co-workers.

Do Some Homework

Turning to different relationship-focused resources such as articles, podcasts or books, can add tools to your communication kit and open your mind to new perspectives. Epstein suggests checking out the book Hold Me Tight, by Dr. Sue Johnson, a therapist and researcher who helps couples strengthen their bond and navigate life’s challenges.

Discuss Your Communication Preferences

Epstein suggests checking in with each other (outside of heated moments) to explore wants, needs and areas where you need improvement. She recommends questions like:

  • How do you feel we communicate during stressful moments?
  • Do you feel appreciated and acknowledged?
  • When we’re arguing, what do you most need from me?
  • If you could change one thing about the way I communicate, what would it be?
  • It seems like we get trapped in repetitive cycles of yelling whenever we argue. How do you think we each contribute to that dynamic?

Schedule a Recurring Relationship Meeting

“The first thing I do with clients who walk on eggshells with their partners is have them schedule a weekly relationship meeting with their partner,” says Sterling. You can use this designated time to practice good communication skills while discussing the week’s challenges and wins, reinforcing that conversations don’t have to lead to conflict, she says.

Work With a Professional

Couples can work with a licensed couples therapist to improve their communication skills. “This is exactly what a therapist with specific couples training is trained to help with,” says Epstein.

When to See an Expert

Research shows that turning to a mental health professional can decrease psychological distress, improve relationship satisfaction and help couples learn important communication and conflict resolution skills. So how do you know if you should reach out for help?

According to Epstein, some indicators that you may want to seek out a couples therapist include:

  • If you and your partner believe you’re poor communicators
  • If you find yourselves having the same arguments over and over again, sometimes about different issues but in the same ways
  • If it feels like any tiny argument can escalate into a full-blown fight
  • If you and your partner feel disconnected
  • If it feels like the relationship is in trouble

While the above indicators can be addressed with a therapist, research shows couples therapy can help people be proactive about their relationship—and not just as a last-ditch effort when a relationship is on its last legs. In fact, you can have a healthy relationship and still benefit from couples therapy. Sterling suggests seeking out a therapist who is certified in couples counseling early in the relationship before deep wounds occur. “The same way I don’t wait for smoke to come out from under the hood of my car before having it serviced, everyone should see a couples therapist throughout the relationship,” she says.

To find a licensed therapist in your area, visit the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). With the therapist locator tools listed on AAMFT’s site, you can review detailed listings for local professionals. Listings include credentials, specialties, types of therapy offered and whether or not you can attend sessions in person, virtually or both.

You can also turn to online platforms, such as Talkspace or BetterHelp, to get matched with a licensed couples therapist based on your needs, challenges and goals. In addition to video calls, these options allow you to speak with your therapist via phone call, chat or text.

Outside of couples counseling, it can also be beneficial to work with a licensed therapist one-on-one to better understand your communication gaps.

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10 communication patterns in a couple that harm relationships

November 2, 2021 Relationship

Check out which phrases indicate problems and learn how to restore harmony by changing the vocabulary.

Communication is not easy for everyone. Sometimes, at first glance, everything seems to be normal, but you or your partner unconsciously say phrases over and over again that increase tension and discomfort. Repetitive expressions like this usually signal unhealthy communication patterns in a relationship. nine0003

Marcy Cole, a psychotherapist who has been counseling couples for over 20 years, identified ten of these patterns and how to break them and learn a new love language.

1. Accusations

What phrases signal this

  • “You always…”
  • “You never…”
  • “You start…”
  • “Why don’t you…”
  • !"
  • "You're wrong!"

Consequences of : defensive behavior, distrust, understatement, weakening of the feeling of intimacy. nine0003

What to do

Solve the problem, don't discuss who is to blame.

Think about how serious everything is

When you are ready to blame your partner for something, slow down for a minute. Most of the things we usually get upset about are misunderstandings and little things. If you are sure that the matter is important, look for ways to solve the problem, and do not scatter accusations.

Do the boomerang exercise

Shift your attention to yourself. Not to blame, but to look at the situation differently. Perhaps what you so fiercely blame your partner for is something that you are critical of yourself and try to avoid. nine0003

Listen to each other

Have everyone share how they felt about the situation that caused the conflict. Don't interrupt each other in the process. Just listen and try to put yourself in the partner's shoes.

Start a difficult conversation using the AMOR method

People are often afraid to talk about something, knowing that a confrontation will follow. In such cases, take the following four steps:

  • Affirmation. Use a positive affirmation first. For example: "I know that you love me and wish me happiness, and I appreciate it." nine0016
  • Message. Then move on to what is difficult for you to say and difficult for a loved one to hear. For example: “Sometimes I need to be listened to and not told what to do and how to feel. Otherwise, I just shut up."
  • Overcoming. Continue to explain: “When you just listen to me and let me know that you hear and understand, I feel very good. It helps us change habitual behavior and get closer.
  • Resolution of the situation. Expressing your feelings or requests in this way does not sound like an accusation. So, it will be easier for you to understand each other and establish communication. nine0016

Result : increased feelings of intimacy, understanding, empathy, forgiveness.

Try other tricks 👈

  • 3 steps to stop blaming others

2. Keeping score

What phrases signal this

  • “I do nothing for you… but you do nothing for me! » nine0016
  • “Three times this week I…”
  • “I always…”
  • “You never…”

Consequences of : winner-loser relationship, irritation, rivalry.

What to do

Try to make everyone win.

Both be those who give

A relationship in which one always only gives and the other only receives will not be healthy. Conversely, when both sides give something to each other, each one feels gratitude and joy, he does not feel that he is being used. nine0003

Thank you

“Thanks for responding quickly”, “I always like to hear a compliment from you!”, “It seems like I haven’t told you how special you are for a long time!” There is always something to thank or praise for. Just say it sincerely.

Ask, don't demand

You can say essentially the same thing, but in different words, and get different results. If your partner is constantly late at work, do not ask him to change. Bring it to his attention in a different way by telling how you feel because of his actions. nine0003

For example: “When you often come home late, I don't feel important to you. It would be very valuable to me if you could come earlier more often. Then I feel that you think about my emotions and keep your word. It sets the tone for the rest of the evening."

Result : Endorphins rush and gratitude revived.

Make it a rule ✍

  • To receive more, give more


Repetitive routine

What phrases signal this

  • “We never do anything!”
  • "Why can't you ever go with me..."
  • "You're always just lying on the couch."
  • “Maybe we should go to a new place at least once?”

Consequences : frustration, boredom, indifference, decreased desire.

What to do

Change your routine. nine0003

Try new things together

Constantly being in the cycle of tasks and responsibilities, it is easy to get stuck in your own little world and get bored. Remind yourself that there is a vast outside world and that there is much that you have not yet seen or tried. Choose goals that are of interest to both of you, and go in search of new experiences.


Couples who have been together for a long time usually stop making time for it. But it is communication, joint experiences and fun that support relationships. So try to arrange romantic meetings for yourself more often, as at the beginning of an acquaintance. nine0003

Change language

  • "I want to spend time with you."
  • "I have a surprise for you."
  • "Let's go somewhere together."
  • "Let's go to that party and meet new people."
  • "Let's go somewhere we've never been before."
  • “Maybe we should try ourselves in…?”

Result : new discoveries, curiosity, anticipation, laughter, bond strengthening. nine0003

4. Unwillingness to make concessions

What phrases signal this

  • "Because I want to."
  • "Let's do this."
  • "You're wrong!"
  • "That's not how it's done."

Consequences of : despondency, resentment, disunity.

What to do

Replace "I" with "we".

Speak out the values ​​of your couple

To do this, formulate a statement that reflects what is important to you as a couple and what you are striving for. For example: “We show respect, admiration and deep love for each other. We choose to develop individually and together and enjoy our common life.” nine0003

Change your mindset

Remember that you both deserve to be happy. Look for ways to help you achieve this.

Change your language

  • “What do you want to do?”
  • “Maybe we can do both?”
  • "Let's each do our own thing, and then we'll meet together..."

Result : feeling of connection, unity, balance.

5. Reminder of old wounds

What phrases signal this?

  • "You always do this."
  • “Well, here you are again…”
  • “You are not going to apologize for…”

Consequences of : re-experiencing pain due to past hurts and disappointments, avoiding, suppressing your feelings and desires.

What to do

Try to be consciously in the present.

Notice when you are drawn into the past

An excessively harsh reaction to some partner's action is most often a projection of an old trauma. It can be from childhood, from a previous relationship, or from an earlier stage of the current one. As soon as you notice that you are returning to the old days, try to look at the situation and at the partner with a new look, with openness and without prejudice. nine0003

Change your language

  • "I'm here with you."
  • "I want to understand."
  • "What do you want now?"
  • "What can I say or do to make you feel better?"

Result : a new understanding of yourself, healing from old injuries, enjoying the moment.

6. Habitual track

What phrases signal this

  • “No matter.”
  • "I don't care."
  • "I don't remember." nine0016

Consequences: loss of interest in a partner, passivity, disunity.

What to do

Remember what you like about each other.

"Turn on" when communicating with a partner

We get used to our daily routine, including ceasing to value relationships the way we started. And when talking with a partner, we often answer automatically. To get out of this habitual rut, remind yourself of what initially attracted you to a partner, and try to notice it more often in him. nine0003

Change the language of communication

  • “Remember how we…”
  • “I want to call you…”
  • “I miss being together… Let's resume this tradition.”
  • "I love it when you..."
  • "Let's have a date."

Result : strengthening of intimacy, return of desire.

Explore possible strategies ❤️

  • 5 ways to keep your partner interested

7. Trying to think in the same way

What phrases signal this

  • “You also approve of this idea, don’t you?”
  • "Will you agree with me?"
  • "I can't believe you're against it. "

Consequences of : falseness, instability.

What to do

Take differences easy.

Be yourself

Sincerity is important in a relationship, which means that everyone should express a real opinion, and not agree out of politeness. Otherwise, you will simply deny yourself and your needs. nine0003

Embrace and enjoy your differences

Of course it's important to have something in common, but differences will only deepen and enrich both of you. It is unlikely that you want to be with an exact copy of yourself.

Remind yourself that it's okay to change.

You may have shared a dream before, but people change and so do their dreams. We are constantly learning something new, we are influenced by external factors and internal experience. Accept it in yourself and in your partner. nine0003

Change the language of communication

  • “Everything is fine. Everyone can have their own opinion."
  • "I like to watch you do things your way."
  • "Thank you for telling me about this and opening up something new for me."
  • "What can I say or do to make you feel how much I love and appreciate you?"

Outcome : Acceptance, respect, strengthening intimacy.

Understand the issue 😫

  • What to do if you and your loved one have different views on life

8. Denial of self-sufficiency

What phrases signal this

  • "No one will love you like I do."
  • "You are everything to me."
  • "I don't know what I would have to do without you."

Consequences : dependence, loss of one's own "I", irritation of the partner.

What to do

Remind yourself that your partner just completes you.

Draw the line

It's one thing to enjoy your partner's company and turn to him for support, it's another to completely depend on him for moods and decisions. A partner can increase your happiness, but taking care of him should not be completely on his shoulders. Your happiness is in your hands. nine0003

Change your language

  • "Thank you for making my life fuller."
  • "I am learning a lot with you and from you."
  • "You and I are a great team!"

Result : feeling of own integrity, strengthening of communication.

9. Pointing out shortcomings

What phrases signal this

  • “You should take care of yourself”.
  • "Why don't you get a raise?" nine0016
  • “I wish you…”

Consequences : lack of joy, trust, passion.

What to do

Remind each other of positive things.

Focus on the good things

When you first fell in love, you probably noticed and mentioned what you like about your partner. It's time to restart it. You can even write everything down on paper.

Share what you appreciate in a partner

Talk, leave notes, do nice little things - in general, try to put a smile on your partner's face and make him feel that he is appreciated. nine0003

Change language

  • "Thank you for everything you do for us."
  • "Today I'm just wondering why I love you so much."
  • "I appreciate you for..."
  • "Thank you for..."

Outcome : return of desire and intimacy.

Use every opportunity 😍

  • 5 love languages ​​that make relationships stronger

10. Threats to end the relationship

What phrases indicate this

  • “If you do this again, I will file for divorce.”
  • "I can't take it anymore."
  • "That's it, I've had enough!"
  • “Well, go away, if so!”

Consequences : uncertainty, anxiety, hostility.

What to do

Look for ways to heal relationships.

Try to reconnect

Threats and the fear they cause only divide you. Try to talk and understand what exactly needs to be changed in the relationship in order for everything to work out. And be ready to be active.

Consider going to a family psychologist

Do not be afraid to seek such help. Whatever you choose in the end - to stay together or peacefully disperse - a psychologist will help you cope with the most difficult.

Change language

  • "I'm not leaving you."
  • "I know we can get through this."
  • "I'll wait until you want to discuss this."
  • "I really want to learn from this situation so we can move on."
  • “Sorry for the threats. Let's figure out how to deal with this so we can stay together."

Outcome : motivation to solve problems, stability, potential for growth.

Read also 🧐

  • 10 tips for strengthening relationships
  • 5 stages of love that the strongest couples go through to the end
  • 3 symptoms of unhealthy communication in a couple

How to talk to strengthen relationships


Relationship crisis Man and woman

Men know how important it is to talk to a woman at the beginning of a relationship. But when they realize that they have conquered it, they begin to behave as they are used to. For most members of the stronger sex, this means using conversations only to achieve a specific goal. For the vast majority of women and a small number of men, conversation is primarily pleasure. Communication allows them to feel a connection with a loved one, recharge their batteries. nine0003

“If one partner (usually a man) limits the possibility of spontaneous communication and it all comes down to discussing practical issues, the second partner feels unhappy, but has to put up with it,” says interpersonal coach James Bauer. “This is a trap many couples fall into. The longer people are together, the less they talk. We discuss who will pick up the child from kindergarten, how to pay off bills and where to spend the weekend. And that is all".

How to start talking heart to heart as deeply and interestedly as it was at the beginning of a relationship? James Bauer Suggests:

Allocate time. Schedule the conversation in advance. If the first thing you do when you get home is turn on your computer or dive into your smartphone, chances are you'll switch to a partner. Give each other 20 minutes that are not invaded by the television or virtual world.

Instead of discussing the issue at the everyday level, try to talk about how the partner sees himself, what he feels

Interest partner. Start a conversation with what he is interested in. For example, if you ask, “Who do you think will make it to the semi-finals of this game?”, you will most likely grab his attention right away. But the question is: “Does this skirt suit me?” is likely to leave him indifferent, even if he politely answers you. A topic that captivates the other side may turn out to be the key to ensuring that a person is disposed to confidential communication. nine0003

Be an attentive listener. You save time by washing dishes or dusting during a conversation, but for a man your ability to do several things at once means a lack of interest in his words. He will stop talking. James Bauer calls for making what he calls "transformational talk" a tradition. They break the routine of everyday relationships, in which we are often too lazy to give ourselves the mental trouble to talk about deeper topics.

"Start with any question, but look at it from a new angle," suggests Bauer. Maybe your partner is going through a difficult time at work? Do not try to immediately find the guilty or limit yourself to sympathetic phrases: “Your boss does not appreciate you,” “This company is not worthy of you.”

Yes, you flattered the interlocutor's ego, but such a message brought nothing new either to his life or to yours. Try to talk about how he views the current period in the context of his career. Are there any bonuses in this situation? Is he still able to learn new things? Does he see himself in another professional field? Instead of discussing the issue at the everyday level, try to talk about how the partner sees himself, how he feels, whether he is ready to move forward. Such conversations give us the strength to rethink a lot in life.” nine0003

Natalia Artsybasheva, Gestalt therapist

The following joke was born in the professional environment: "Find a good partner, and five years of marriage will replace a year of psychotherapy for you." If a couple has the skill and tradition of conversation developed in "peacetime", then in a crisis that abounds in family life, this will be a great advantage.

Many men tend to endure discomfort in silence and then disappear. Women are naturally better at communication. It is important to use this difference not for the struggle for power, but for the development of mutual understanding. nine0003

When in a couple a woman can help a man to talk about feelings, in response he helps her not to “drown” in them, but to move on to the right actions. Many couples need such a tradition also as a salvation from the now popular child-centrism. Often there comes a time when the wife is so immersed in caring for the children that the husband is left alone. A woman, on the one hand, loses his support, and on the other hand, she does everything to not get it.

These simple rules will help you build a dialogue, convey your thoughts to your loved one and better understand him. nine0003

  • Talk about your condition, not about your partner: "I'm angry" instead of "You make me angry."
  • Do not attack.
  • Ask for more.
  • Check your fantasies: "How do you feel now?" instead of "You hate me."
  • Be careful with evaluation and criticism.
  • Do not try to talk against your will or your partner's.
  • Learn to say “stop” when you feel uncomfortable. It is important to let it be spoken out, sometimes just saying it out loud allows you to overestimate your own thought. nine0016

About the experts

Natalia Artsybasheva , gestalt therapist.

James Bauer Interpersonal Relations Coach.

Text: Sabina Safarova Photo Source: Getty Images

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