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Lots of couples that I work with grapple with communication and connection. How do you stay feeling connected when the communication isn’t what you want it to be? How do you keep on trying when you’re feeling so discouraged?
One of the most important things I do in my retreats with couples is to help you improve your communication skills. Using some structured exercises, couples get the chance to practice new ways of talking about relationship issues. The skills aren’t just introduced, they’re practiced with some coaching to help you ask questions and listen differently. Couples find this really useful because you get the opportunity to have some very meaningful conversations together. When you feel like your partner really gets what you’re trying to say, it can bring you closer together.
I often hear from people that they feel gridlocked talking about issues. Arguments can seem to take on some predictability–you don’t get any further ahead and you both can feel frustrated and hurt at the end of them!
Adding to your communication skills repertoire helps you to dialogue about topics instead of battle. You can learn to talk differently with one another so that you don’t feel like you have to defend yourself, get stuck criticizing one another, or avoid certain topics.
I’ve posted some blogs in the past about rebuilding connection:
I’ve written a lot about it because it seems to be such a common concern for couples. How do you stay connected amidst kids, busy work schedules, the million-and-one tasks that need to be done, other relationships you want to attend to, and time for yourself?
Perhaps not surprisingly, working on your communication can make a big difference in how connected you feel. If you feel like your partner really understands you and is interested in what you have to say regardless of whether you’re having an argument or not. The conflict doesn’t get in the way of the relationship because you’re communicating effectively.
Not only can communicating in a way that works for both of you help with feeling connected, it can also help with intimacy. Nothing kills passion quicker than burning resentment and anger. When you feel that your partner makes a concerted effort to listen and understand your perspective, you may find yourself feeling in the mood a little more often!
Taking some time to focus on your relationship away from all your daily responsibilities can make a big difference in your relationship. It can help you decided whether or not you’re going to stay together, can help you strengthen your relationship, and can bring communication and connection to the forefront. Want things to get better? Let’s talk.