Healthy communication skills are incredibly important for a thriving and advantageous relationship. Both partners must learn to express their needs and expectations in order to grow together.
If you've been through plenty of ups and downs, don't be too tough on yourself. Disagreements occur even in the most healthy and loving relationships. The process of working through your issues together and finding healing leads to so much growth and greater understanding.
The key to your success is being able to effectively share your ideas, wants, and needs. It's also vital that you learn to listen carefully and to genuinely care about your partner's wants and needs. This is what it means to be unconditionally loving and accepting.
Let's take a deeper dive into this topic, while noting that communication isn't always comfortable. It takes time and effort to heal.
#1 - Listen to Your Partner
Find a good time to communicate about the challenging issues at hand. Give your partner your undivided attention, while practicing active listening. This means acknowledging that every word they are saying is of utmost importance, even if you don't agree.
Make the commitment not to talk over each other, as respect is everything when conversing with each other. Also, pay close attention to your body language and what it may convey, as it's just as important as the words that come out of your mouth.
When my husband and I have disagreements, we both try our best to listen and empathize with each other. We've found that respect is so very important to both of us. We try to listen to the other's perspectives and finding solutions that work for both of us.
#2 - Be Mindful of What You Say
Do everything within your power to speak calmly and keep an open mind. Before sharing, think about what you're going to say and how you're going to say it.
If you're not sure exactly what you need to say at any given moment, maybe take a step away to regain your composure.
Delivery is everything in an argument, so be extra careful not to put your partner on the defense. Start off by saying something positive (if possible).
I've learned that the best way to communicate with my husband is to start off with a positive and kind thought and let him know how important the issue at hand is to me.
Try avoiding the word "you" as much as possible — and not saying things that can't be taken back. Once words you regret uttering have floated out of your mouth, they often take on a life of their own. Sometimes they can cause long-lasting resentment between partners.
#3 - Be Empathetic
As you listen and carefully watch what you say, it's important that you get beyond your ego and fears and be empathetic to your partner. Do your best not to get overly wrapped up in your own frustrations and dilemmas.
Be sincere and loving, no matter how well you're able to solve the problem. I am a sensitive person and can get quite emotional. Thankfully, I have a partner who "handles me with care" because he knows I can be fragile.
Sometimes the simple words "I love you" can completely change the direction of an argument. Get back to the basics of how you feel for each other, and you'll find peace in most situations.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for relationships and disagreements, but thankfully we have simple, yet profound power within any situation to find both calm and understanding.
For Sean and I, we find we're on a growth adventure together. We've made the commitment to try to understand each other, and this I believe is the foundation for our success as a couple.
What about you? Do you have any advice to share with others? Please share in the comments section below.