Make a request, but remain flexible

My last several blog posts have focused on how to make discussing relationship difficulties with your partner easier. I talked about how using “I” language and confronting yourself first can demonstrate to your partner that you are willing to take responsibility for your part of the work. Let’s turn now to another important skill when […]

Confront yourself first

In last week’s blog, I talked about how using “I” language can help improve communication with your partner. Doing so acknowledges to both of you that you take responsibility for your own feelings. Likewise, it is important to confront yourself first when discussing relationship difficulties. Start by facing yourself honestly. Admit your negative parts and […]

Distinguish between thoughts and feelings

In last week’s blog, I introduced the topic of broaching relationship conversations with your partner. Over the coming weeks, you will see posts laying out specific tools and examples to help makes those conversations easier. The first one is essential to any communication with your romantic partner:   Differentiate between thoughts and feelings   Discriminating […]

Validate yourself rather than depend on validation from your partner

Quite often, communications problems in our relationships stem from the fact that we are trying to avoid answers we don’t want to hear. We may not bring up a problem to our partner for fear it will start a fight. We may not ask our partner questions for fear that the response will hurt us. […]

Address the Interpersonal Gap

In last week’s blog, I offered some tips on how to approach difficult conversations with your partner. Beginning a dialogue with empathy is an important part of effective communication. It is equally important to recognize how what you say is received by your partner. Address the “Interpersonal Gap” The Interpersonal Gap is the difference between […]

Communication is the gateway to intimacy

Unfortunately, many couples struggle to communicate. They either fail to discuss issues of importance at all or hide behind manipulative questions and misrepresentation. When I work with clients struggling with communication, I generally offer three pieces of advice: say what’s on your mind, lay your cards down first, and allow yourself to be seen. Let’s […]