In the last blog post, I wrote about how couples often withhold their true feelings from each other, letting hurt, anger and resentment build up until it starts to cause real issues in the relationship.
I also asked a series of questions, designed to help you to really reflect on how honest you are with your partner about your feelings. If you missed it, click the link below:-
But why do we do this?
Well, there are a number of reasons we aren’t always willing, or don’t feel able, to share our feeling with those closest to us. Perhaps you’ll recognise a few of these yourself:-
- You’re worried that by being honest, you’ll hurt/upset your partner
- You’re worried it will lead to an argument
- You think your partner will become defensive and not listen to you.
- You’ve been bottling up certain things for so long that it would almost feel like a “confession” to bring them up now.
- The problem has caused so many issues in the past that it almost feels “taboo” to bring it up now, even if it’s been left unresolved.
- Being honest in the past has led to huge rows and driven you even further apart.
- When you say how you feel, your partner withdraws, refuses to talk, and “stonewalls” you.
- When you try to speak to your partner, it always seems to come out in the wrong way, causing upset and confusion.
- Your partner always seems to take things so personally.
I could go on, but you probably get the picture. There are many, many reasons that we don’t bring up the things that bother us, or tell our partner how we really feel.
But no matter what the reason, it all comes down to one, simple and common thing: communication.
More specifically – we’re worried that we (ourselves and our partners) lack the ability to deliver our messages to each other effectively, in ways that will minimise arguments and deal with conflict in a constructive way.
When we’re feeling emotional, our capacity for rational thought, and therefore a rational discussion, becomes compromised. Which leads to us going into attack and defense mode.
So when you tell your partner that somethings bothering you, HOW you tell them is crucial.
For example, if you use global language such as “You always…”, “You never…”, or even use the words “You…”, you will more than likely yield a defensive response. Because your partner will just feel attacked and criticised.
So, if any of this feels familiar to you, don’t miss my next blog post, where I will be giving you a simple, yet powerful technique, for delivering a message to your partner in a way that will minimise that defensive response.
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