How, how did this just happen? Ten minutes ago, we were having a casual conversation. I said one thing and the tone of the conversation completely changed. It has been so good between us, and now it’s right back to where we were. Arguing, raised voices, and now the silent treatment begins.
Does this sound familiar? Conversations between you and your partner end up at a place you never anticipated. Maybe you feel unfamiliar with the person you married. Any remaining hope is placed in the anticipated future when the kids are grown, and you two will have more time.
My experience as a couple and family therapist has shown more often than not that this exists in many committed relationships. This cycle causes disconnection between committed partners. The unforeseen challenges begin to cause daily distress and separate us even further from feeling connected, and loved. Feeling unloved in a committed relationship is a scary place to be.
How, how can we begin to find our way back to one another? One simple, yet effective change in the way you communicate can get you started right now. Listen. Actively listen to what your partner is saying to you. Resist the urge to respond to your partner with all the times you took out the garbage, or woke up with the kids in the middle of the night, how many hours you worked this week. If you want to see a change in the cycle, you have to try something different.
Actively listening involves phrases like:
- “I hear you saying that…”
- “Let me see if I understand what you’re trying to tell me…”
- “You became angry when I didn’t…”
Stay curious, stay open, and stay out of the emotional chaos.
Committed relationships are long-term investments. Much like owning a home, they need attention, maintenance and care. I’m here to help you and your partner if the D.I.Y approach hasn’t worked.
If you would like to talk more with Rebecca on ways to improve your relationship, reduce the conflict that creates distress, and find your pathway to reconnection, submit your information and register for a free 30-minute relationship check-in.