Once a relationship, any relationship of any type or length that gets a few years past it’s best “fresh” date, it can and most invariably will fall into that level of communication breakdown which becomes a little too relaxed, while not being overly effective.
Unhealthy patterns may eventually develop, bad habits can be the result in one or both of the partners which feel they’re beginning to feel unheard, unappreciated or taken for granted. So the following can hopefully assist you in finding new ways to be as generous and as genuine as possible when reopening the communication lines with your partner.
How To Fix The Communication Lines
• Give your partner the full and undivided attention that they deserve during a conversation, any conversation, even if it happens to be about their tedious events of the day or their cats trip to the vet.
We all by habit will tend to instinctively share our feelings and thoughts while in the midst of doing some type of unrelated activity, and can easily slip into the brain dead zone of saying… “uh-yup or uh-huh.” This mode of listening may not really be listening at all. So make sure that you take the time, sit down and have a pleasant conversation giving full and complete undivided attention and engagement.
• Make sure that you appoint your partner as someone that you can confide in. Most of us will just naturally turn towards our childhood friends, work colleagues or family members for support to unload and to get advice.
This may be because they’re usually the ones who are around you the most during the day. Make sure that you don’t leave your partner out of the loop and out of these discussions. They should know exactly what’s going on with your life as well as feeling included and a part of your decisions.
• Treat your partner with the same respect and care as you would if they were your best friend from church. We will usually tend to just overlook our friends obvious faults and deficiencies, even if they’re driving you up the wall at times, this because we realize that no one is ever perfect.
We’re aware that at times, we need to be available to support our friends through their tough times, or sometimes we just want to hang out with them, have fun by going for a “bender,” and forgetting our day to day troubles. Your partner deserve the same level of treatment as well.
• Keep in mind that you and your partner aren’t the same person and thus won’t have the same views, opinions or standards on absolutely everything. Your role is to recognize this at any given time and adapt yourself by finding different ways to embrace these obvious differences, while helping your partner be a better person because of it. Attempting to change or mold another person or squash their ideals can result in a joyless existence which helps no one.
• When things begin to get off track and heated up a bit, keep in mind that your partner is acting the way they do on their own good intentions and nothing malicious. They believe in their stand. So remain as trustworthy and open minded as possible and try to understand their point of view. Remember that the end goal is to work towards agreeable solutions as a team, and not always having to be right, but it needs to be a compromise meeting each other halfway.
• Recognize that when in situations of conflict, our natural defensive responses will usually come from our emotional insecurities and fears rather than something that may be wrong or mistaken with our partner.
So take a mental step back by taking a deep breathe, doing so will usually allow things from escalating out of control. Don’t be afraid to take a mutual break, then regroup, and then try talking again once you’re both feeling calmer and have thought it out.
• If you do happen to get into some type of conflict or a heated discussion, make sure that you both agree to get back together and then acknowledge what just occurred. Apologizing isn’t always the answer or necessary, but rather a moment of kindness along with the mutual agreement to move on without any resentment.
• Accept that time as well as life in general will eventually change you and your partner, altering the dynamics of your relationship. Changes such as career advancement, personal growth, marriage, kids, and family issues may at times rock your once solid foundation over the years.
So what’s required is flexibility as well as compromise, and the classic “Never sweat the small stuff” attitude goes a long way towards eventually smoothing everything out. And it is all small stuff right?