One of the things I hear a lot from couples who have communication issues is that they don’t know how to have the tough conversations. We are, often, so concerned about a reaction or about someone’s feelings, that we don’t have the capacity to have a conversation in love that’s best for everyone involved. And we’re so focused on how things are being said, that we never really address what is being said in the first place.
So, let’s talk about the 3 keys to making tough conversations easier to approach with the one you love.
Many issues in relationships and marriages can be avoided simply by being direct. Some people think that being direct is too brash or too harsh. I would offer that being direct is how you can control the narrative and keep the conversation from rapidly “going south.” I will always agree that how we communicate is most often more important than what we say. We can be direct and still do it in a loving way.
I have a client who took the path of least resistance when she was trying to discover how the person she was dating feels. The problem with the lack of being direct in those conversations is that she often felt like she was trying to figure out what he was thinking. She always seemed to be trying to make sense of vague words and actions rather than asking a question, getting an answer, then taking him for his word.
Also Read: Communication: How We Went From Fussing and Fighting to Being Happily Married for 10 Years
Once she finally decided to try being direct, she had more clarity and she felt better about her relationships. Directness opened a door to clarity and freedom in her relationships that she hadn’t experienced before.
Be honest with me and I will do the same for you
One theme that has been consistent throughout my dating life is honesty. I had one major requirement: Be honest with me and I will do the same for you. So, there was no reason to put on airs or try to skirt around the truth, when it came to me or any relationship that I was a part of.
If I was trippin’—let me know!
If you are not holding me down, I’m going to let you know!
Whatever the situation is, being honest about it is going help you avoid a lot of pain later. When you are honest with your spouse or significant other, you are respecting the fact they deserve the truth, no matter how inconvenient or unfortunate it may be. People that you love and admire deserve your honesty.
There’s no rule that says that being direct and honest means that you have to be unkind and disrespectful. You can be direct and honest, and still do it in a loving way. If you already know you want to have a tough conversation with your spouse or significant other, take some time to work on a loving approach for the conversation.
As you are with a person over a period of time, you begin to learn their likes, their dislikes and their triggers (i.e. what sets them off.) So take those things into consideration when you are having tough conversations with your mate (whether you initiate the conversation or they do.)
By being direct and honest while coming from a place of love, you will find that you’ll be able to talk to your mate about anything…even the those tough topics.
BMWK – please share with us how you are able to have those tough conversations with the one that you love? Are there any particular strategies that you use?