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  • 3 Ways to Communicate Better With Your Partner

    If
    you’ve ever been in a romantic relationship, you know firsthand how frustrating
    it can be. Once two people start sharing more and more time together, perhaps
    even begin living under the same roof, arguments are bound to happen from time
    to time.

    Sure,
    you both started out on your best behavior – you both believed the other could
    do no wrong. But as the days, weeks and months passed, and as the shiny newness
    of the relationship wore off, that’s when the arguments and bickering began.

    But
    here’s some good news: just because you both find yourselves frustrated with
    the other more often, that doesn’t mean your relationship is in big trouble. Arguing
    is not a sign of a hopeless relationship, but how you handle yourself during those arguments is an indicator of the
    health of the relationship.

    If
    you and your partner are frustrated with one another, here are some tips to
    help you communicate better:

    1.
    Be Direct

    Indirect
    communication leaves much to be desired. It also leaves one or both parties
    very confused. Don’t beat around the bush when you have something to say or
    when you want to share with your partner why you are frustrated with them. If
    it is your partner who has initiated the conversation, don’t try to evade it
    and switch topics, face the music head-on. It takes directness to problem solve.

    2.
    Talk, Don’t Blame

    How
    you speak to your partner is key during times of frustration. You want to be
    clear and direct, but you never want to point the finger. Doing so will only
    cause your partner to become defensive and the conversation will go off the
    rails.

    For
    instance, if you are frustrated with your girlfriend who tends to be jealous
    when you innocently talk to other women, you wouldn’t want to say something
    like, “You are totally out of your mind!” That will only invite defensiveness.

    Instead,
    try using “I statements” and pair them with “behavior descriptions.” This is a
    constructive strategy because I statements focus on how you feel, without
    blaming your partner, and behavior descriptions focus on a specific behavior
    your partner is engaging in rather than a character flaw.

    So,
    for example, you might say something like, “I get frustrated when you think I
    am flirting with someone when the conversation is completely innocent.” This
    allows you to be clear and direct without drawing your partner’s character into
    the line of fire.

    3.
    Stay Focused

    A
    constructive discussion will demand both partners’ full attention. By this I
    mean it’s important to stick to the issue at hand and not drag other
    frustrations and resentments into the conversation. Try to solve one
    relationship issue at a time.

    If
    both of you have been keeping your frustrations pent up and now can barely
    speak to one another without completely blowing your top, you may want to
    consider seeking the help of a couple’s therapist. They will be able to help
    guide the conversation, keeping it loving and constructive.

    Interested
    in exploring treatment options? Get in touch with me. I would be more than
    happy to discuss how I may be able to help.

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