26 Mar When your relationship hits real life
It’s fun to fall in love. Those first few weeks and months are exciting and lust filled. But as many of us have found out, those emotions don’t last. Real life sets in and we start to notice our partner’s annoying habits and idiosyncrasies: the toothpaste left in the sink; the way he picks his teeth after a meal; her loud laugh that grates on your nerves. How do we navigate these without exploding or pulling our hair out? Communication! It always sounds like such a simple, mundane answer but it truly is the right one.
You have to sit and communicate, but not just a ramble or bitching session. No, you must ensure it is quality communication. Find the right time to sit and talk, where you are both fresh and alert and there are no distractions, like little ones under foot. Ask your partner for confirmation that it’s a good time to talk. Once seated, make eye contact. Discuss first what you appreciate about your partner before moving into the very thing that you need to discuss. Take turns and repeat everything back to each other. When we paraphrase things back we can gain a better understanding of the point being made. This can help us to get out of our heads and be fully present with our partner; otherwise the monkey mind may run away with some negative rhetoric.
Dave: “Sherry, what I love about you is you take really good care of our dog. I appreciate that about you and thank you.”
Sherry: “what I heard you say is you are very appreciative that I take care of our dog. That makes me feel good that you’ve noticed and you are welcome”
Dave: “Great, you got it. Now what I’d like to discuss is that sometimes you leave little piles of your things around the house and it does drive me a little batty. I was wondering if you could make an effort to control that.”
Sherry: “what I heard you say is that my piles around the house are driving you nuts and you’d like for me to make an effort to leave less piles”
Dave: “Yes, that’s right.“
Sherry: “I would be happy to make an effort to control my compulsion to leave piles around the house. And since I know you are very organized I invite any suggestions you may have to help me contain the stuff that I have to deal with.”
Dave: “awesome. It would be my pleasure to help you.”
And so the conversation goes. End with a big thank you for being heard and for expressing how you feel and give each other a big hug! Good quality communication is the cornerstone of keeping your love alive for years to come!
Cheers to you and your forever love.