3 Tips for Fostering a Healthy Relationship with Your Partner

Imagine this, you’ve found the love of your life, the love hormone is coursing freely through your veins and you experience what feels like an endless summer, each day you are bathing in the warm afterglow of intoxicating abliss.

Loving relationships are an important part of our human experience and a major driving force in our lives whether we fully realise it or not.

Now picture this, it’s six months, one year or even five years down the track from when you first met. You’re chilling out on the sofa after a tough day at work and the next thing you know all hell has broken lose.

Resentments spill over, you go on the attack, and your partner fights back. The blame game begins and yet another conflict has erupted.

You’re left wondering what went wrong, how did it come to this?

Welcome to the ‘and they all lived happily ever after’. Hollywood never really prepared us for the murky and complex world of relationships.

Any relationship coach or expert on conflict resolution will tell you that open communication is the key to any successful relationship but exactly does that look like?

In a nutshell open communication is the art of being able to express your needs openly to your partner. This is what is at the heart of all relationship issues. You have needs, your partner has needs and the basis of a healthy relationship is working together to get these needs met. Conflict begins to arise when our needs go unmet. We slip into old habits to try and get them met and this creates all sorts of problems.

So, let’s go back to that moment when you collapsed on the sofa. With open communication you would have greeted your partner, told them that you’re brain is completely fried and you’ve had the worst day of your life. You need to just chill out on the sofa for 30 minutes, then you’ll feel recharged and can help out with the chores.

Your partner may still be a little disgruntled but by expressing your needs you avoid getting into the ‘blame and shame’ trap that often leads to conflict. By articulating what it actually going on for us in the moment assumptions can be avoided.

This is often another sticking point when it comes to conflict. We assume our partners understand our issues, but let’s face it no one is a mind reader. If you don’t tell your partner what is happening it can lead to all sorts of resentments. Unless you tell your partner you’ve had a crap day, collapsing on the sofa and not saying a word could be misperceived that you’re just being a selfish layabout. Your partner may also have had an equally horrible day, but you’ve made no attempt to find out unless you open up to them.

So in summing up remember these three simple tips to foster a healthy relationship with your partner.

1. Express your needs.
Tell your partner how you feel and what is going on in your life. Even if you don’t feel like talking about it, just articulating that very thought can be enough at the time as long as you remain open and willing to talk about things later if needed.

2. Don’t blame or shame.
Conflict arises when we get defensive. Rather than falling in to the trap of “you never do this” or “you never do that”, listen to your partner and acknowledge what they have to say. This conveys that you’ve heard them and gives you an opportunity to talk about your needs.

3. Avoid assumptions.
The problem with making assumptions is that they are often based on false expectations. We expect our partner to react a certain way or understand where we are coming from. Then we get frustrated when they don’t respond or behave accordingly. By taking the time to talk with each other we can better understand what is actually going on in any given moment.


Douglas Channing




Category : Blog & Communication & CoupleStuff & Featured & Relationships

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