How to have a happy relationship
When you’ve been with your partner for a while it’s safe to say there will be some behaviour that will drive you nuts!
Can you recall the time that you started to notice that annoying habit? Perhaps it has always been there but in the beginning of the relationship you were willing to overlook it because of all the other great things that were happening.
You were happy
You were exploring new places
You could spend all day with this person
Then after reality and routine set in, these *other* behaviours started to show up.
They lick their knife at the dinner table
They don’t listen to you and ask you about the subject you just finished talking about
They take your lunch to work
All little, but oh so annoying I hear you cry!
So how do you talk without tearing a hole in the little bubble you’ve been in?
This is where it gets tricky for couples in relationships. It’s a natural progression for relationships to move through stages. The first transition is moving from this honeymoon phase of being blissfully happy to a more grounded understanding that our partners are in fact separate people to us, with flaws and all. They’re not going to always agree with us- nor us with them.
A sign that the couple are transitioning to the next stage of the relationship is when one partner really wants to point out that thing the other does as a way of being helpful. Unfortunately, their partner only sees it as a criticism. This is the dilemma of intention versus affect.
Intention (what you think you’re saying)-
“I’m going to be helpful and point out an area that you can grow and at the same time ease my discomfort.”
Affect (what your partner hears)-
” You’re wrong, stop that immediately”
There are ways to give feedback that can open up and enrich the relationship.
It begins with you and what you desire out of the conversation.
Do you want to be right or do you want to resolve and move past this issue? Ask yourself before you speak and give yourself permission to be honest. You might just want to be right, that’s fine but then ask yourself…why?
Put yourself in their shoes.
You can dish it out but can you take it? If your partner tackled an issue with you the same way you want to go about it. How would it leave you feeling?
Is it something that is better left unsaid?
Here’s a tricky one. Not everything that you’re feeling should be said out loud! There are still things that you ought to keep to yourself. Having a good internal filter will help you determine if it should come out.
Our partners have a rare insight into our lives. They are the only ones who are physically and emotionally close enough to us to see areas that we and others are blind to.
The cost of not having these conversations is feeling stuck in the relationship. Where two people are growing further apart because they would rather hold onto the familiar patterns, than to try something new. There is a wonderful level of mutual enlightenment that can happen in a relationship but often people don’t want to invest.
Wanting to get back to that love bubble?
Why not try our Couple Time Cards, these cards were created for couples to tune in to each other and connect.