Communicate with your partner

Is communication gap ruining your relationship? Here’s how you can fix it

Lack of healthy communication causes conflicts between partners, but you can mitigate them by following these effective tips.
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Falling in love is one of the most joyous emotions one can experience. The feeling of butterflies in your stomach when you fall in love with someone, or the sense of unbridled bliss while exchanging ‘I dos’ in hopes of a beautiful ever after fill our lives with happiness. However, every relationship comes with its fair share of problems, irrespective of their magnitude. While some issues may be minuscule, others pose the danger of potentially wrecking a loving bond. The secret of establishing a rock-solid relationship, which doesn’t wither away after a few years, is effective communication. That’s why the importance of knowing how to communicate with your partner can’t be stressed enough.

Communicating with your partner in a healthy way is as crucial as your relationship itself. Lack of communication can cause conflicts, and in some cases, leads to breakups too.

Criticising and yelling at a partner, giving them the silent treatment, digging old wounds, passive-aggressive behaviour, and constant criticism are some of the biggest communication mistakes couples make.

According to clinical psychologist and relationship coach Shelley Sommerfeldt, as reported by Healthline, “Communication is important because it fosters trust and connection. In order to have an open, honest, and vulnerable relationship with our partner, we must be able to freely communicate in a healthy manner.”

Read on to know more about how to communicate with your partner to build a rock-solid relationship.

Build emotional intimacy

People often equate the term intimacy with sex and romance but it has a far broader connotation. Emotional intimacy helps build trust, bridges communication gaps, and creates openness in a relationship. It’s one of the best ways to communicate with your partner without using words. When partners allow each other to express their vulnerabilities, insecurities, or flaws, they create a better emotional bond with each other and reduce communication gaps.

Do fun-filled activities together

Try to do meaningful activities together, such as cooking or playing games. If you share a love for adventure activities, try your hand at trekking, rafting, mountain biking et cetera. After a tiresome week of work, it’s important to rejuvenate and rewire your mind. You can plan a picnic or a weekend getaway in nature to unwind and reduce stress. Try to minimise your social media usage during such excursions and devote all your time to

Get rid of the domineering attitude

A relationship can never prosper if there is no room for partners to express their feelings and opinions. A domineering attitude and solo decision-making ideology can easily lead to cracks in a relationship. Instead of persisting with a bossy, tyrannous attitude, become more open towards what your partner has to say. For example, if you are planning to buy a new house, don’t just shove your opinion down your partner’s throat and listen to their opinion and perspectives, too.

Ask them if they are on the same page with you as far as the location, infrastructure, design et cetera. If they disagree, don’t flare up and politely ask them to express why they don’t consider buying that property. Make a note of their assessment and reevaluate your own. If you feel that both of you don’t see eye to eye on the matter, try to address the situation amicably and hold more discussions instead of indulging in heated arguments. Even if you disagree on the subject, you can still create a healthy relationship by listening to each other and fixing communication gaps.

Address unresolved past hurts 

Oftentimes, old wounds re-emerge when partners argue to justify the conflict. This usually happens when a partner didn’t find closure during an old argument or if they didn’t forgive a mistake made by their better half. An unresolved past hurt is akin to a festering wound that gets worse with time if it’s left untreated. In a relationship, you can heal this wound by using clear and direct communication as a remedy.

If you observe that certain unaddressed past hurts constantly try to sabotage your relationship and give rise to incessant arguments, stop for a moment. Look within and examine whether your feelings are a result of your perception or do they really hold value. Be open and communicate your issues with your partner and assess their feelings. Try to find closure instead of brooding over the past and keeping your feelings hidden.

Give each other space

This is a crucial component when it comes to communicating with your partner to build a healthy foundation. Many times, couples don’t realise that they don’t give each other enough personal space. If your partner often tells you, “I want some time alone,” or “I need space to pursue my hobbies,” it doesn’t mean their interest in the relationship is dwindling. Couples need to realise that although they are spending their lives with another person, they still have their individual needs and aspirations to fulfil.

For example, if your partner loves playing the guitar, make sure they get enough time to focus on their hobby during their leisure time. Moreover, you can try to cultivate an interest in their hobby and even participate. Similarly, if your partner wants some time alone after a difficult work week, respect their choice for solitude, as it can help them recharge and recalibrate their brain.

Express gratitude

When was the last time you said ‘thank you’ to your partner even for little things such as cooking, cleaning, or fixing the bed? Research has shown that people who express gratitude towards their partners are likely to forge happy and long-lasting relationships. According to an article published by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, studies found that, “people who are more appreciative of their partners report being more responsive to their partners’ needs, and are more committed and more likely to remain in their relationships over time.”

Acknowledging and appreciating your partner for routine activities, such as making the bed or cleaning utensils, can go a long way in establishing a healthy relationship sans communication gaps. Compliment and thank them for their efforts and don’t dwell on criticism even if they fell short of your expectation. For example, if your partner failed while attempting to cook an exotic dish, express gratitude for their efforts and boost their motivation.

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