partnership

Why can't you get your partner to really hear and understand you?

Each couple I coach has their own bespoke set of challenges, however there are a handful of issues, that seem to be consistent in each partnership, tearing away at the fabric of their love, trust and intimacy.

  • Loss of passion, not limited to, however also including a dying sex life.

  • Poor conflict resolution leading to circular, go no where fast, conversations and arguments.

  • Affairs, emotional and/or physical where one or both have gone outside the relationship seeking their needs to be met.

  • Problems with in-laws and extended family, where boundaries and respect are not being cherished.

  • Loss of love, where one or both partners no longer feels cared for in a way they need to thrive.

 

This is why my coaching programs always offer instruction, tools and skill learning opportunities for each individual, within the partnership, to become better at leaping these common relationship hurdles.

We always start at the very root; COMMUNICATION!  

Wowza, communication is such a big topic and everyone is failing at this, we just can’t figure out how to make ourselves heard and our partners understand.

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This week, I want to offer up a significant first step on the road of communication, where so many of you may be falling at the very first hurdle. 

One of the worst things we can do, and the very first most of us do.. is projection of self onto our relationship. Your partner is not a version of you. This means that what and they think, their needs and how they translate the world around them. is not the way that you will.

We can get trapped in the resentment fueled circular thought process of how WE would never do such a thing, say such a thing or react in such a way!  We interpret their actions and words, through our own lens… i.e. ‘If I didn’t take out the rubbish when asked, it would be because I don’t have any respect for them, and don’t care how busy they are!’ 

Just because, that would be our motivation and inferred message in this action DOES NOT mean, that is how everyone else thinks, let alone your partner. 

In fact, my experience as a relationship coach AND within my own marriage, has shown that it’s almost NEVER that simple.

Men and women have very different communication styles because their foundational needs that are driving the communication are totally different.  Beyond that hetero normative angle (um, NO men are not from Mars and Women are not from Venus) how we are raised, the role modeled behavior we saw growing up and our own personality traits directly impact how we communicate and resolve conflict. Newsflash, my same sex couples do NOT speak the same language simple because they are the same sex. If only, it was that easy!

Our communication boils down to our CORE NEEDS and If you are in the dark about these core needs, then here is your first problem and why you are struggling.

Your partner keeps saying,  “You never say, I love you!".

What do they really mean?

 
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If you know that, you DO indeed say ‘I love you’, even occasionally, you will reject the whole statement at the “never” part sentence.  However, this unreasonable word, ‘NEVER’, is the first indicator that it’s not about the ‘I love you’ but something deeper and perhaps even completely different then the what the words above suggest. 

For men, and for many partners regardless of gender, this makes no sense.  AND, we have no idea how to solve it, so communication quickly becomes shut down.

Sadly, growing up we are not informed that being married for life needs life & relationship skills and new understandings.

Most couples are totally unaware of what they don’t know but need to if they are going to happily ever after this whole love thing.

How do we go from surviving, to thriving in our marriage and partnerships?!?

Please note: It’s not just you!  We ALL missed the Relationships 101 class at school, because it simply doesn’t exist, and many of us #notallofus, didn’t have very great teachers at home either.

I’m often the second to last call people make, right before the divorce lawyer or moving truck.  Crisis brings them to my door, and helping them breakthrough (their immediate problem) is a small part of what they really need. The biggest part is helping learn the skills to live a purposeful exciting life, as a team. It’s why I work with couples, and individuals in relationships, up to 6 months, personally guiding them through work around communication, love language, core values, mindset transformation, self love, intimacy, forgiveness and so much more.

You could say, I have created that elusive Relationships 101 class, we all missed.

And starting today...

CLASS IS NOW IN SESSION!

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I have cleared some slots over the next couple of weeks for YOU to book a FREE Breakthrough To Love call, where we can spend 45 minutes together to sort a way forward in your relationship. 

(Yup, an appointment with me, FOR FREE!)

On this call, I will help you get clarity on where you have been, where you are at, and where you want to go with love and your partnership.

IF, and only if, we both think it’s a good fit, AT THE END OF THE CALL, I may invite you to become one of my new clients and tell you about the coaching programs I can offer, that will provide you with the solutions YOU NEED, in order to save your relationship AND become more healthy and happy within your partnership. 

SCHEDULE YOUR FREE BREAKTHROUGH TO LOVE CALL APPOINTMENT HERE

Looking forward to speaking to you soon, my darling!

 
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Using 'Reflective Listening' To Improve Relationship Communication

Communication is a multi faceted skill set.  We often get so caught up in improving our ‘Verbal’ communication skills, we don’t dedicate the necessary time to all the other bits that make communication successful. 
 
Perhaps the most overlooked and wayward of the communication skills these days, across our society as a whole, is LISTENING.

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Why yes.  Remember LISTENING?  It’s that oh so crucial other half of Verbal communication, that if we don’t get it right… we miss out on the conversation and on connection, completely.
 
 
Today, I wanted to focus on one particular listening skill we can all easily work towards being better at, every day called REFLECTIVE LISTENING.


 
>> You know when your partner jumps in, midway through your well thought out rant and finishes your sentences for you?
 
>> When you find yourself tuning out your partner, as you retreat into your own mind to carefully mount your defense, AKA your response, to what they are saying?
 
>> Or how about when you KNOW you’re speaking plain English and yet still, what they heard and what you said, simply doesn’t match up??


 

Seeing RED yet?

I don’t blame you.  We’ve all been there.
 
This is what listening to respond looks like.  WE NEED to learn how to listen to UNDERSTAND! 
 
This is also why you keep having the same conversations over and over, and are getting nowhere but straight to the land of frustration and anger. 
 
Next stop on that train?
 
Derailment!   Cause why bother, right?   Why even go through the trouble oftalking about this anymore?  Nothing ever changes!  They aren’t really listening to you, anyways!


Using a technique called REFLECTIVE LISTENING can quickly help you become a better listener.  Reflective listening, begins with the simple act of repeating back what someone say to us, but in your own words.  This shows you didn’t just hear what the other person said, but understood it as well.

rying this skill set on.  At first, can feel a bit odd and insincere.  You may even think, this might prove more annoying than anything else.  However, when used correctly (and practice will get you there)  REFLECTIVE LISTENING is a killer way to drive conversations forward.
 
Here is a prime example of such an exchange;
 
SPEAKER 1
I get so angry when you spend so much money without telling me. We’re trying to save for a house!!!
 
SPEAKER 2
We’re working hard to save for a a house, so its really frustrating when it seems like I don’t care
.
 

 
Now, TONE is really important here.  We want to use a tone that comes across as a statement, with a bit of uncertainty.  The end goal is to express ‘I think this is what you are telling me, but correct me if I’m wrong’. Your reflections don’t have to be perfect.  If the other person has to correct you, that’s actually a really good thing!  Helllllo!  Now, you are actually having a conversation based on trying to really understand one another better.  Not, oh I don’t know. Trying to prove a point, win an argument, or force someone to hear you!
 
That, my darlings, is progress from the familiar train wreck we are accustomed to, in just a few sentences exchanged.


 
Try to reflect the other persons emotions, even if it wasn’t part of the sentence they spoke. 
 
SPEAKER 1
Why do you always take this route?  There is always traffic and we are going to be late again to pick up the kids?
 
SPEAKER 2
You’re worried we will be late to pick up the kids, and I’ve chosen the route I know best, that usually has traffic.  Do you know a better route we can take?

 
Speaker 1 never mentioned being worried however it was probably implied through their tone or the look on their face.  When we acknowledge emotions, it hows we are not just listening and mimicking back their words but using our eyes to read our partners communication as well.  The understanding, just got next leveled! 



 

Sometimes our partners have a whole lot to say in one statement, filled with both essential and non essential details and story lines.  And pulling out a notebook or recording device to keep up, well that might not send the right message J
 
When we reflect back, we want to pick out the main points only.
 
SPEAKER 1
First, I woke up late, because you turned off both alarms. Then I went to get in the bathroom to get ready and nearly killed myself because the floor was soaking wet from when you took a shower, my mom called and you know how that gets me worked up, the dog peed on the floor, the kids were running around with two different shoes on, I forgot to brush my teeth, and to top it all off I get into the car and there is no gas in it BECAUSE you the last person to drive it, left me on empty!! 
 
 
SPEAKER 2

I hear you saying, you had a shitty morning and that I contributed to that by not taking the time to consider how my actions may affect you. 
 

The reality is, most of us have a handful of well grooved auto responses on hand that are continuing the unsuccessful dynamics in our relationship communications. 
 
Do you know what I say when my husband complains about the route I chose to drive?
 
“Oh, sorry… did you want to drive?!?!?!“ in my best flippant nasty tone.
 
Yup. Almost every time.  Not very reflective, huh?
 
Most humans are creatures of habit.  We wear a groove and settle there.  Sometimes habitual structure can be a good thing.  We always say ‘I love you’ when someone leaves the house or a quick kiss goodnight before rolling over, like clockwork. 

However, when the groove becomes a rut, and is causing communication to break down in our relationship, the very next thing to go is connection. 
 
Without connection, love cannot survive. 
 
 

I love to hear how you get on with introducing REFLECTIVE LISTENING into your communications in the comments here!

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