|Deep conversations are the glue that attaches couples together to develop intimacy. / Photo by: Peter Bernik via 123rf|
Relationships can be awesomely wonderful and immensely excruciating at the same time. Like a roller coaster, relationships go through ups and downs, making couples dazed with excitement and joy and stunned with misery and anguish. Indeed, relationships are messy!
Coming together can happen in just a blink of an eye but staying together requires a lot of work. It needs a lot of courage and pluck to support relationships through good times and bad. How you want your relationship to be is something only you and your partner can figure out by honestly and deeply talking with each other.
Good communication is fundamental in any relationship. Couples with a positive emotional connection feel secure and happy. Any concerns or issues can be worked out as long as there is communication.
Why Talking Helps
Deep conversations are the glue that attaches couples together to develop intimacy. It is critical to express emotions, needs, and concerns to stay connected and keep the sparks burning.
Talking to partners brings varied benefits: it prevents fights from developing, ignites deeper connection, thwarts annoyance, and promotes empathetic moods that bring couples closer together. There are, however, instances when couples struggle to bring up certain concerns for discussion as these topics hit the pits of their fear of rejection or misunderstanding. Couples are not great at talking about issues that really matter to them and usually tuck these away with the hope these will disappear. Nonetheless, in order for relationships to succeed, couples must learn how to speak their thoughts and feelings. So, what are these issues that couples face but are hesitant to discuss?
1. Staying connected – Disconnections happen frequently with couples. The excitement fades over the years of living together and couples take each other for granted. They slowly drift apart, not really bothering to know what went wrong. Disconnection can lead to disaster in relationships. Make time for each other. Go on dates and start to talk again.
2. Money - Many people feel that talking about money is repulsive and try to avoid it at all costs. Some women do not know what their partners have and resentment builds up. To prevent disagreements, discuss how you both feel about money, expenses, budgets, and the like to foster mutual respect.
3. Trust and Respect – When partners start questioning each other's behavior, distrust slowly creeps in. This is especially true when there is no honest and open communication. This can be lethal to relationships. Relationships should be based on trust and respect. Genuineness of both parties is the secret key to happiness.
4. Intimacy – Many couples are dissatisfied with their sex lives. This typically occurs in long-term couples that have lost their energy and quest for adventure. Couples are not courageous enough to talk about this issue due to feelings of guilt and shame. This problem is aggravated by infidelity.
5. Unacceptance of Flaws – At the start of the relationship, couples are all gooey-eyed with each other, because of their sense of humor or their clumsiness. But as time wears on, the once “cute” quirks become annoying.
How to Hold Difficult Conversations
Pretending that everything is alright will eventually wear couples down. But then again, there will be times when you need to have these "must-have" conversations. Here are some pointers to address these difficult talks.
Don't delay tackling the issue. If you presume that the talk will go badly, it will. It would be best to define your objectives and expectations about the talk. Get yourself ready for an emotional and stressful discussion.
Initiate the conversation by admitting that the topic is sensitive and provoking. Explain that it is expected that you will espouse different viewpoints but would like to reach a consensus on the issue. Keep the discussion simple and on-topic.
|Couples should keep the discussion simple and on-topic when addressing to a difficult conversation. / Photo by: Dean Drobot via 123rf|
• Do not manipulate your partner. Be honest.
• Calm yourself down before starting the conversation. Do not hold the conversation before or after sex.
• Set the time and place for the talk but give your partner ample time to prepare.
• Be respectful. Do not look down on your partner. Do not interrupt your partner while they are speaking.
• Be alert for the non-verbal cues. Look your partner in the eye. Be clear that acknowledgment is not necessarily an agreement.
• Prepare evidence-based arguments and concepts. Do not go off tangent from the topic agreed on. Do not hog the discussion by talking on and on.
• Reach a consensus. Set a follow-up schedule to monitor how both of you are dealing with the agreements reached.
• Know when to ask for professional help.
Relationships have moments of silence. Silence is not a bad thing. Sometimes, it is nice just to sit quietly. And yet, relationship problems revolve around the lack of open and honest communication. Do not worsen relationships by keeping mum when you can express yourself more candidly. Open and honest communication is something that needs to be worked on throughout the entire relationship.