Have you just had another bad fight and find yourself wondering ... will it always be this way?
You probably feel frustrated, exhausted, and a bit defeated. Maybe you feel like your husband doesn't listen to you and doesn't really care. Perhaps you're upset that your wife never sees your perspective and doesn't value your opinions.
You've read some communication articles online and have tried to use the strategies suggested. You probably found that they didn't work so well.
Knowing you, you didn't give up and you read more - maybe even a couple of self-help books, but your spouse still tells you that you're crazy and your feelings are ridiculous. Maybe now your partner just shuts down and ignores you when you try to talk. You feel like it's hopeless, like no matter what, it's doomed to be this way.
I've got great news for you, it's not hopeless and it's not your fault!
Odds are that you learned how to communicate and resolve problems by watching your family and your friends. Some of us lucked out and were born into families with master communicators. Most of us are not raised in these families. So how exactly were you supposed to learn how to diffuse an argument, communicate effectively, and manage defensiveness?
If you didn't learn how to do these things, it's not your fault because communication skills are not obvious and they are not openly taught. You only learn them when you go out with the specific goal to learn them.
Let me let you in on a secret: most people are not great communicators and those that are LEARNED that skill on their own. They had problems, just like you, realized that what they were doing wasn't working, just like you, and they kept learning and experimenting until they found the magic recipe for their relationships.
If they can do it, so can you!
But you don't need to go on a giant quest to learn all of these skills. You've got me and I'll teach you everything you need to know to communicate better, fight less, and have a more loving relationship.
Ready to get started? Great, let's begin by downloading....
Once you have your copy of the rules, take some time reading them. Don't try to do all of them right away. Just choose 1 (at most 2) and work on doing that 1 thing for a couple of days. Notice the results.
If things are getting better, keep doing what you started and add another one. Keep only the ones that make a difference in your relationship. Pretty soon you'll have discovered the powerful formula for great communication in your marriage.
Now, the next step is to work on changing your attitude towards your partner and your problems.
Relationships are just like so many things in life, there are times when things are fine and times when things are hard. Just because now is a difficult time in your relationship doesn't mean that things can't get better. They can!
And you can start immediately doing things differently to make your relationship better right now...
The first thing to realize is that your partner is not your enemy.
As hurt or upset as you may be, try to take a step back. My hunch is that you've been worried and looking for signs about how your partner really feels. Each time your partner fails to act in the way you were hoping for, you get more upset. The more upset you get, the more hints you drop, the more signs you look for, and the more things go sideways ... and more often then not, a fight happens.
We must break this cycle of wishing, hinting, hoping, blaming, and fighting. To break the cycle, start by reassuring yourself that things will be OK.
Look for proof of this - has your partner done anything good or loving in the last few days?
If so, great! Focus on what's good.
The next thing to do is, ask yourself, "What do I REALLY wish for so that I could feel better?"
Is it for your partner to reassure you and say it will all be ok? If so, ask for this reassurance.
Is it for your partner to be warmer, softer, and friendlier? If so, tell your partner what you wish for.
I've found that we have a much higher chance of getting what we want if we just ask for it in a kind and clear way.
Now, there is a catch.... in order for you to get what you want, you have to give them what they want. What I mean is that before your partner can soothe or reassure you, you have to soothe and reassure them.
So now that you've calmed yourself down, reassured yourself, and figured out what you want, I want you to think about what YOU can do to help your partner do the same.
Think back to what your partner has been saying to you lately, can you think of anything they've been hinting at or craving from you?
If so, great, figure out a way to give that to them. If nothing comes to mind, don't worry, I will help you... what most people crave is to be loved and accepted, not judged and criticized.
Find a way to very gently approach your partner and say something like the following...
"Mark, I am really sorry that things have been so rough for us lately. I do love you and I've been fighting so much because I am scared (or hurt, or angry). I know you are hurting too and I want to help you. I know you are a good person and I love who you are. Please tell me what I can do to help you feel better....."
Once you've done this, you've made a HUGE first step to improving your communication. (And I will be super proud of you!)