One of the most important things in any relationship, especially a marriage or a long term partnership, is communication. A friend of mine is a marriage counsellor and she tells me (without naming any of her clients, of course) that happy couples across all age groups seem to have found the magic communication formula that deludes us mere mortals.
How many times has it happened that despite your best efforts, you have failed to connect with your partner? You are doing everything according to the book, following relationship advice from magazines, websites or even the word of mouth wisdom handed down from generations in your family. Yet, the growing space, the miscommunication, the uncertainty. It isn’t as much about how often we are communicating as much as it is about what we are communicating, says my friend.
All successful, long lasting and happy couples, surprisingly, say almost the exact same thing to each other and the message being communicated is very simple too. What’s even more surprising, however, is how only a few couples seem to know this. If you are keen to make something substantial of your relationship, here’s some advice that has always been under your nose, something you have ignored for long enough but can no longer afford to do:
- We don’t need to be told that marriages and partnerships are no cakewalk. However, what we don’t know is that the way we react to a trying situation within the first few seconds of the news hitting us determines how we bond with our spouses and partners. Quick to temper? Irrational initial reactions? No wonder you are finding it impossible to bridge the gap. Use the first few seconds to prove it to him/her that you are with him/her and will see to the end of it together.
- While we are dating, we ceaselessly give compliments to each other. Once we get serious, those words of encouragement dry up. You’ll do good to keep them pouring in, though. And rather than complimenting him on how he looks, appreciate what he does for you. When he goes out of his way to make you happy and you shower him with praise, he is more likely to do similar things in the future. Also, accepting one’s own weaknesses goes a long way to cement bonds.
- This might be contrary to what relationship gurus have been preaching all along but when angry, say it. It is wrong to count to 10 inside your head and take deep breaths when faced with a situation that genuinely disturbs us. Holding it back is not a solution, it only prolongs the issue. However, the keyword here is ‘genuinely.’ Flaring up at every little annoyance will definitely drive a wedge between two people.
- Most importantly, stop connecting with your phones and computers and start conversing with your spouse or partner instead. If you are the kind of person who sends a text when your husband tells you he has lost his job, you are going to lose him soon. Reading I’m sorry baby doesn’t do much. If it is a big thing, it demands your respect, attention, love and a face to face discussion.