Communication is one of the top problem areas between people in any relationship. The reason that most people have communication challenges is that they are afraid if they say to their partner what they are really thinking and feeling, and acknowledge what’s going on inside them, they will destroy their relationship. And you may be at that point right now in your relationship.
If you’re thinking about divorce, chances are your communication is not what it could be and maybe even nonexistent. You and your partner are probably not saying what you are really feeling or maybe you are and it’s pushing you further away from each other. In either case, the two of you have probably built some pretty big walls between you.
In order for you to make the most conscious decision possible of whether to stay in or leave your relationship, it’s helpful for you to look at how the two of you communicate with each other and make some changes. Those changes can help you see if there’s any life left in the relationship and decide you want to stay or see clearly that the right decision for you is to leave. So what changes could you make in your communication in order to clarify your decision? If your marriage is rocky and communication is an issue, here are three ways you can make small and not so small changes right now to gain that clarity… 1. Be honest with yourself.
Most people in situations like yours are not honest with themselves and we’re guessing that you’ve been hiding the truth from yourself too. Take some time by yourself, go to a quiet place and answer this question… (Just keep writing for five minutes or so and let it all out.) “What would you most like to say to your partner if you felt safe enough and free to say it — with no consequences?” 2. Say what is true for you.
Say what you feel safe enough saying without anger or resentment. Look at what you wrote and circle what is at the heart of it. Tell your partner without your emotions getting in the way. If you can’t speak it in person, try writing it. 3. Ask to work it out.
Ask your partner if there’s a way to work out this situation and stay open to listening or reading what he or she says without becoming defensive.
Staying open to just listening or even reading what your partner feels without getting defensive takes courage and it takes practice. Staying open does open a door to understanding each other, no matter what you decide to do. Getting defensive shuts the door.
When couples are having marriage problems, communication is usually one of the first skills that fall apart. If this is true for you, decide to make some changes that will help you create more of what you want in your life — whether you stay or leave. Susie and Otto Collins are the creators of passionateheart.com or http://www.collinspartners.com. They are relationship coaches and life partners. Their formal training has been with Drs. Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks of the Hendricks Institute and Comprehensive Coaching U and with Dr. Belinda Gore. They can be reached at email@example.com.