Effectively Listen, Don’t Just Hear
Frequently, I think couples become mixed up in battling to account for themselves. The majority of us can relate that occasionally we simply seethe on the other individual since we are so harmed or miserable that our relationship is separated or feeling “off.”
Instead of butting in while your partner tries to share his or her perspective, why not listen? You may be thinking all you do is listen, but let’s not get that confused with hearing.
Active listening is, “fully concentrating on what is being said rather than just passively ‘hearing’ the message of the speaker.” This seemingly simple skill will help your partner get the sense you are engaging with them, which creates a safer environment.
Listening does not mean you give up your right to disagree, it means you are actively trying to connect and draw closer to your partner.
Acknowledgment of Self
This likely sounds odd. What does tolerating myself have to do with winding up more personally associated with my accomplice? When we acknowledge ourselves for our identity, we are substantially less liable to respond so contrarily to our accomplice’s inquiries.
Acceptance means we already have built insight about the “bones in our closet” or where we struggle in relationships. That insight is everything! It helps you to work on strengthening self-worth and focus more on why you do what you do rather than playing the blame game.
Sometimes we get triggered by others blaming us because we know they are right. It does not give them permission to blame, but what acceptance of self does is allow us to be more in control of how we react.
Acceptance of Others, Even When You Don’t Agree
Accepting the other does not mean we agree with all they do, have done, or will do. It simply means we let go of trying to change or control them into who we think they should be, and move toward letting them feel as they feel. We allow them to feel safe to express themselves in their own way.
Acceptance decreases your need to perform or fix and creates safety for honesty in the relationship. Sometimes we hide because we are scared we won’t be accepted by the very people we want to be known by the most.
Being able to be fully known and accepted causes some kind of magic to happen. Suddenly, it’s safe to be you or for them to be them. We can be imperfect or quirky without fear of being left or betrayed.
Of course, there are times when betrayal does happen. Someone steps out of the relationship to find what may be missing or to soothe themselves.
These steps are still the ones you take to restart after betrayal. It allows safety to occur so that both partners can share and be truly heard. Sharing more and blaming less can change a relationship pattern and direct it into new, exciting places.
Don’t forget this three letter word. Often couples get busy with careers, family, or trying to pick apart the relationship. Dating your partner for life is not just some cliché. (Okay, maybe it is, but there is truth to it.)
When you go to a new place to eat, do a weekend getaway, or even just go to a coffee shop and play board games together, you shake up the mundane. The stale gets kicked out! You’ll be a better person for it, a better parent, and a better partner.
Fun means we take care of the couplehood. We choose to care over neglect. Anything that’s neglected will eventually get sick or become unhealthy, right?
Caring for the couple does not make you less of a parent. Research actually shows that this increases the family dynamic and helps parents to become better connected even leading to healthier children. Our children need to see their parents taking time to care for themselves,not have it together, and loving big!
The couplehood longs for connection and intimacy. Not in one capacity but all three: emotionally, physically and sexually. These four tips drive connection, leaves room for mistakes, and can bring the couple back to the joy of being together. These tips are not a cure-all, but rather a guide for a couple’s journey to greater and healthier intimacy.