We often hear about the importance of communication in a relationship, and how it helps in building a strong bond with your partner, but do we truly know what it is and how we can properly communicate with one another?
In relationships, especially long-term relationships, it is quite normal to have conflicts or a difference in opinion, which may lead to damage and insecurity regarding the future of the relationship. In these cases, having the right conversation can help improve the situation significantly.
By allowing communication in a relationship, you let your partner have that safe space to be able to talk about their opinions, insecurities, and overall thoughts about the relationship. Being able to provide that space for a partner is one of the most defining characteristics of a strong and mature relationship. If both of you feel that you can talk about any conflict whatsoever with each other, it shows that you aren’t afraid to tackle problems together and are willing to make the relationship work.
It is okay if this isn’t something you or your partner aren’t used to. Some people may not be comfortable with showing that much vulnerability, and it could be because they were never in an environment where it felt necessary. Healthy communication can be learnt, and it is something that you will have to work through with your partner, by learning how they communicate and what they prefer in terms of showing vulnerability.
The most difficult relationship problems essentially require these four conversations: Repair, Perspective, Trigger, and What’s Next?
Repairing involves initiating the conversation of conflict, it is acknowledging the fact that there is a problem between the two of you and both of you are willing to work on it and talk through it.
Asking for a safe physical touch in the middle of the argument, or bending down and pledging to be a better listener, can be the initial step in repairing the relationship.
Understanding your partner’s perspective may seem like an obvious thing to do, but is often one of the hardest things to do when in conflict. Listening to your partner means actively listening to their thoughts on the matter and having a discussion over them. These conversations often become an ego battle between the two people as the discussion shifts from understanding each other’s perspective to proving who’s right. So, let your partner know that it is a safe space for them to talk and understand each other.
Talking about the trigger involves understanding what acted as a trigger for them to react the way they did in the argument. This will further help us understand the triggers of the relationship, so we can work better in avoiding them in future.
Once these discussions are done, and you understand your partner better, you can have a conversation with them about what you can do in the future to not have the same issues again. Perhaps, this may be a good time to assess the position of the relationship and whether or not both of you have the same perception of the relationship.
Remember that discussing problems in your relationship with someone other than your partner may cause discrepancies with your partner, so having a conversation with them first is usually the best thing to do.