Tips For Maintaining A Healthy Relationship
Relationship problems are common. Life can be challenging with so many of us feeling overwhelmed with our day to day stressors. As a result, we often take our partner for granted. This can lead to our partner feeling unappreciated, invalidated and not listened to. Further, if there are fundamental communication issues in your relationship, this can lead to escalating arguments and general disharmony.
There are important key skills for keeping our relationships healthy and ensure your relationship thrives during difficult times. Developing skills in listening will help both of you address any concerns or issues.
As our relationships are built on love and trust, genuine listening so your partner feels heard is fundamental to keeping your relationship healthy. The feeling that our partner knows they have been heard and understood helps to build and maintain a strong bond of love and trust.
Genuine listening means you care enough to be curious about your partner and to step into their world. This requires stepping outside of your own thoughts and feelings and putting yourself in your partners’ shoes with curiosity and genuine care for a few moments.
This kind of listening requires you give your partner your full attention and take on board their concerns without judgment. It requires that you understand their position even if you may not agree with every aspect of it.
Once your partner has told you what is important to them, summarising what they have said back to your partner. This will ensure you have listened and heard what it is they have told you. Your partner can also let you know if you have fully understood and interpreted correctly what they have said to you.
Ask For More
It is important at this point to ask your partner if they have anything further to add. Your partner will feel that you have taken the time to explore any more concerns or issues they have. You can then reflect back on what you have heard your partner say. Clarification allows you to ask your partner for clarity to explain how they feel or what their concerns might be.
Have Your Partner Listen To You
Now that your partner has been fully heard, you have the opportunity to speak about your concerns so that your partner can listen to you and give you the opportunity to be heard as well.
It is important that you are both listened to and have heard each other’s concerns and issues. Once this occurs, it gives you and your partner the opportunity to reflect back on each other’s points of view and break the cycle of any listening blocks in your relationship.
Once both views have been listened to and each person’s thoughts and feelings on the situation has been discussed, It is possible to problem solve with each other. This will need to be done in an equal and respectful way. There are times when no solution is needed and all that was needed was that each party was heard and validated.
If a solution is needed, and you can’t come up with one immediately, agree to take time out to consider it and return to the issue again soon. Often new possibilities will emerge if each of you is aware of the viewpoint of the other, and you have some time to reflect on solutions.
Listening to your partner will enhance your relationship and build on skills to problem solve any issues that arise.
If you are having trouble communicating with someone in your life contact Viviana today on 1300 208 680 to find out how she can help.
Author: Viviana Jansco.
Viviana is an experienced clinical psychologist, couples counsellor and marriage therapist located in Canning Vale, Wembley and Joondalup.
Photo: by Gabriel Garcia Marengo on Unsplash