Improve Communication With Your Partner Using this Simple Exercise
August 08, 2022
I wanted to follow up on a previous post about getting ‘stuck in the courtroom’. A reader posed the question on Facebook and asked for examples of how to improve communication and avoid getting stuck in their marriage.
Implement this simple exercise
It’s just three simple sentences.
- “When _________.”
- “I feel __________.
- “I want __________.”
How to use it in action:
Speak your feelings and wants very clearly. For example:
“When you said you’d get home at five and you came home at eight, I felt angry, disrespected and overlooked. I want your words and actions to match so that we can build trust.
This seems so simple, but yet it can be very difficult without practice. Be sure for your feel statement that you only use adjectives – either a single word or no more than two or maybe three words. For your want, it should be a short sentence that gets right to the point of what it is that you want to be different in the future.
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A lot of the therapy work I do is helping couples and partners understand what their contributions to the relationship are, and how they can start making changes for the better, specifically with communication. Specifically, when communicating with your spouse, it’s important to make sure that you are not part of the problem, but part of the solution.
I bet many of you have already seen the recent Brene’ Brown video making the rounds where she calls out the myth of marriage being a 50/50 partnership.
I get asked a lot how to save a marriage when one spouse is leaning out or is contemplating divorce. Everybody’s situation’s different, but what I’m seeing a lot lately is very concerning to me.