To start off let me say having a healthy and satisfying relationship is possible with hard work from both parties. Remember, each relationship is unique and there’s no objective way of approaching having a satisfying relationship. No, I’m not talking about the picture perfect relationships you see in movies or dream in fantasies. I’m talking about real life relationships with happiness, complications, and everything in between. You see, a relationship can be healthy even with conflicts. What’s the trick?
Communicating with your partner is key. Before you roll your eyes, yes I know it’s the most generic phrase for relationship advice but the advice is truly important for couples to understand each other. Although assumed communicating is simple, it may not be for many. Every person has their own way of communicating and sometimes we have to work together in order to communicate effectively, however, don’t think being great communicators is far beyond reach if you are struggling in your relationship. In hopes to help those interested, I’ll share my progress with my finacé and how we worked with each other.
Don’t think we got everything down in a matter of weeks because communicating effectively took my finacé and I a good while. We started our relationship well and as the months passed we started having more and more arguments. Well, these arguments started happening more frequently to a point we couldn’t go a day without something turning into an argument or some sort of conflict. A majority of these issues stemmed from unresolved or untalked issues we both assumed would work out on their own. We would argue about mannerisms, how my manners weren’t like how she was raised vise-verse, argued about expectations until we hit a point a point where we needed to talk or break up.
We decided to talk but this time we were going to talk about everything explicitly where we left nothing to question. Throughout the whole conversation, we talked about our expectations of our relationship, what values mattered the most to us rather than our family, what we wanted in life, and the type of future we were aiming for. Without a doubt, our conversation was one of the hardest and most intense which made it a huge turning point in our relationship, ultimately shaping how our future conflicts would be handled. How did we achieve this? Well, for start, we agreed to not interrupt each other while we talked. We took turns saying what we felt and waited for our turn to respond and ask questions. We made sure our communication was explicit in order to eliminate any doubts and by explicit I mean directly saying what we thought and felt while respecting each other. If we had a doubt about something, we asked and answered until we had an understanding. Before we finished, we made sure we left with the understanding that the changes we wanted to implement would take a while before we settled comfortably. To this day, we follow the same steps and has allowed us to resolve our issues in a healthy manner. One thing to note is every couple will have their own unique way of resolving issues, mine is simply a suggestion for those who want to try it out or play around with my suggestion to fit their relationship.
Another example and one that you might be able to relate to is the whole assuming our partner can read our thoughts and knows what we want without having to say much because they should know…yeah right. My fiancé and I did this often, we still do but not as much, and it created unnecessary problems. For instance, she would expect me to take her out on surprise dates. Some think this is obvious for a romantic partner to know but it’s not for some, myself included. I’m more of a straightforward person so when she would get upset because I didn’t magically know she wanted flowers or took her on surprise dates, I was left confused. I expected her to tell me these things but I couldn’t blame her because I myself never told her to inform me, I assumed she would know. Telling your partner, “hey I would really like if you (fill in the blank)” or to say, “if there’s anything you want, let me know.” Saying these things might seem silly at first but you’ll start seeing changes in your communication pattern and a have a more satisfying relationship.
Communicating has made my relationship great, with good and bad in it, and I hope my experience will help your relationship be healthier and satisfying. Keep in mind it will take a while to notice improvements, it took my fiance and me a couple of years but through hard work, we now have a happy and satisfying relationship.