Couple Connection and Difficult Conversation

If you want to connect, communication is the gateway to a deeper connection which will enhance the longevity and intimacy in any relationship, but before you expect to have a truly intimate connection, you must have these two things as your firm foundation. They are,

Trust

Before you can truly open up and expose those most intimate and private parts of yourself, exposing yourself far more than your naked body, you must be able to trust your partner.

Trusting your partner means that you feel as though you can rely on his or her performance, you know if he or she says something, you can expect it will come to pass based on your experience.

Not having trust, or breaking trust, can be destructive, even more damaging than an affair. Lack of trust destroys more relationships than affairs. Whether you’re unable to trust or be trusted, if there is lack of trust there will be no intimate, open and honest connection.

Besides, trust, you will also need an equal amount of,

Appreciation and Gratitude

Life is moving so fast, we can take our partner for granted, forgetting why we fell in love with this person in the first place, and things can just start to deteriorate. You must make time and find ways to express appreciation and gratitude if your relationship is going to not only survive but thrive.

If you’ve let the appreciation and gratitude slip in your relationship maybe it’s time to take action. You can start by asking yourself how your life might be if your partner was no longer in it. What might you miss?

Remembering all the sweet things about your partner that were so endearing in the beginning of your relationship could help take you back in time, feeling those original love vibrations, and when you come back to now, you can bring those vibrations with you into the present moment.

Having the firm foundation of trust, appreciation, and gratitude can give you the firm foundation to approach any situations or circumstances that may approach and/or threaten your relationship. Keep in mind that many challenges which threaten a relationship can come from within. In those moments you will need this foundation to successfully navigate your most

Difficult Conversations

You know, this is when you’ve let something go for a while, and now it’s come to this. It’s time for you to have a serious talk before things go from bad to worse.

How can you best prepare for a crucial conversation?

Taking time to prepare for a crucial conversation will be highly beneficial. Every minute spent planning will eliminate 3 minutes of extraneous drama and unnecessary conflict.

1. Clearly Define Your Concern

Take a few minutes, or as long as necessary to clearly define what your concern is. Reduce it to its simplest, shortest and most concise form before even thinking about scheduling, “The Talk.”

Once you’ve done so, ask yourself if this is “Critical” or “Negotiable?” Your definition should come with the determination of knowing in advance if this is critical or a deal breaker, or negotiable, something that can be compromised. Most sources of relationship angst are comprised of the 97 percent of issues which left to themselves are really no big deal but because they’ve been swept under the rug the pressure has built to intolerable when a simple compromise could have avoided all that pain and disconnect.

If the concern is centered around the three percent of meaningfully important core issues that can destroy a relationship, then continuing to have a crucial conversation is prudent.

2. Look Within

In my experience with couples, more often than not when one partner is feeling a great deal of angst about the other partner, it is because he or she is reflecting back inadequacies of the complainant, who is refusing to see his or her shortcomings in the relationship.

You can avoid this step, experience all the drama and relationship breakdown, only to discover it later in counseling or relationship coaching, or you can head it off at the pass by asking yourself the question,

“How might I be doing the same thing?”

If you feel like you’re not getting something, you might be surprised to see that you’re not giving it. In the event that you realize this, you can avoid any unnecessary relationship drama by giving that which you desire. When you change and give what you want, your relationship changes and you start to get it in return.

If your inner search comes up empty, then you can continue to plan our talk.

3. Schedule an Appropriate Time and Place

Find out from your partner when would be the best time. Keep in mind that men are better equipped to have a serious conversation late in the afternoon, and not too late at night.

Give your partner the space that he or she needs to select a time that is good for him/her. Keep in mind, you may want to talk now, but tomorrow afternoon or this weekend might be better for your partner to properly engage in an important conversation.

Select a location that is not the “scene of the crime.” That is to say, for instance, if your concern is about sexual intimacy, do not conduct this crucial conversation in the bedroom, etcetera.

Side by side is an appropriate, non-threatening posture for a crucial conversation, rather than across from each other, which is more adversarial. Walking and talking (especially in nature) can be a healthy environment for an otherwise heavy conversation.

4. The Difficult Conversation

Start off by issuing a positive statement (or up to five declarations) about how important your partner is and how much he or she brings to the quality of life that you enjoy with your partner.

Then you can express what you need or want in its best possible light, such as, “It would mean so much to me, and I would be so full of love and gratitude, if you could…” (fill in the blank). Pick a statement that you feel comfortable but let it represent how it would make your heart soar, if only…

Avoid the use of apocalyptic fighting words, like, “You always,” and “You never.” Nothing good ever comes from a sentence which starts with either of those as they accuse and attack your partner, only promoting defensiveness. Plus, you know it’s not true. Rarely, if ever, is anyone “always,” or, “never.”

Avoid inviting the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to join your conversation. According to the Gottman Institute, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are (1) Criticism, (2) Contempt, (3) Defensiveness, (4) Stonewalling, and these are the primary predictors of relationship failure.

Remember, this not about me against you, or who’s right and who’s wrong. It’s about wanting love, to love and be loved in a manner which is pleasing and respective of both partners who desire to raise their love relationship to be the best it can be, and even more.

If your partner is male, try to avoid pushing him into a condition which is referred to as, “Emotional Flooding.” This is when they lose cognizance as their emotions take the driver’s seat. It’s a real thing, and they are likely to lose the ability to consciously rationalize and communicate as they are overwhelmed by rampant emotion.

What if it gets out of control?

You can take a “time out” and reel it back in.

It’s a good idea, when there is no conflict or need to have a serious talk, to establish a signal which can be offered up at any time by either partner, which indicates it is time to take a break. It can be as simple as making a timeout “T” symbol with your hands and actually saying, “Time out!” or some other signal or saying that you both can agree on.

Once this signal is initiated by either party, you both have pre-agreed to stop everything and take a ten to twenty-minute break. And if you want to maximize your time out, you can use this time effectively by writing. Write three things, what you’re frustrated about, what you think a good solution might be and a list of the things you absolutely love about your partner.

By now, you should be calmer, more centered, have a plan, and are ready to re-engage for love’s sake.

You are deserving of love, but it often does not come easy because we have so much negative self-talk that goes on behind the scenes that limit your ability to accept love. These love-limiting beliefs include phrases, like,

All men are “dogs”
(or their shirt-tailed cousins,
jerks, babies, cheaters, liars, losers, etc.)
Nobody loves me, nobody cares
I am broken and undeserving of love
I will never have great love
I can’t-do it, love is too hard
If it’s not perfect, I don’t want it
Love means one of you must give up everything

You might feel unworthy of love and/or feel like you must accept the plight of the martyr to have any hope of maintaining a “successful” relationship. You, just like anyone else, are totally deserving of love, and you might have the full potential to have it all in this moment in time, if you just reach out for it.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your underserving or asking for too much. You’re not. And most likely, your partner desires to be there for you in a way that honors your highest and best love, if he or she only knew how.

It’s up to you to find ways to express your needs and desires and allow your partner to find ways to give you what you want in his or her own way.

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