As a couple, do you have a surplus or a deficit of good communication? Are you adding or subtracting from your relationship bank account? The choice is yours, whether you are rich or poor. You and your partner are either doing or saying things that drive you and your partner apart or bring you together. Which will it be today?
HOW DO YOU TREAT YOUR SPOUSE? HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE TREATED?
Focusing mostly on what’s wrong and how your partner should change is the same as staring in your rear view mirror while barreling down the highway at 75 mph. Who’s in the driver’s seat of your marriage?
1. Open up lines of communication. Discuss openly — “What are we willing to do to get where we need to be?!”
2. Avoid Blame Games. Example: “You’re the one who is negative and won’t change!”
3. Be nice. Give up nasty looks, rolling your eyes, or giving the evil eye when you’re dissatisfied.
4. Be in the driver’s seat. Feel like you alone are running your marriage, for better or worse. How good a job are you doing?
5. Show a little empathy. “You act like it’s my fault!” indicates that empathy or basic courtesy is lacking.
6. Be a credit-giver. Empathizers particularly need positive strokes and compliments on a routine basis.
7. Make your partner feel like the good guy or gal. Example: “I told you so…what a great person you are to know!”
CATCH YOUR PARTNER IN THE ACT OF DOING SOMETHING GOOD…AND NEVER LET HIM OR HER FORGET IT!
You can create positive change in your relationship by using good communication skills. Combative chaos and avoiding each other are the enemies of love.
ARE YOU BROKEN AS A COUPLE?
Do you take turns equally driving your couple communicator car? Are you broken as a couple? Although you can’t control everything, and you can’t always get what you want, you can co-create getting what you each need from your partners in the business of Love, Inc.
ABOUT COUPLE COMMUNICATIONS COUNSELOR DENNIS O’GRADY
Dennis O’Grady, Psy.D., is a couples communication coach with 30+ years experience developing effective communication skills that work. Dr. O’Grady’s couple communication textbook is Talk To Me: Communication Moves To Get Along With Anyone. Dennis can be reached by calling New Insights Communication at (937) 428-0724.