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Are you sure you understand what your partner is saying?

My post today is all about questioning the messages you believe you hear from your partner. In times of difficulty, are you sure you understand what your partner is actually saying? Or are you missing their real message?

When a relationship is in turmoil or suffering it is so easy to misinterpret what you hear. Our brains create meaning based on past information and learned responses. It’s how we make sense of the world. It’s how we keep ourselves safe. However, the issue here is – your partner’s way of communicating their feelings is highly likely not to be the same as yours. The chances of understanding each other at this point can be low.

My partner never wants to hurt me

One of the things I ask couples in my sessions to start considering is “My partner’s intent is not to hurt me”.

Regardless of what they are saying or how they are saying it remind yourself that they want to connect with you. This is a request to be heard, understood, wanted…… (this list can be a long one).]

Many people find it hard to express themselves and explain how they feel. Maybe your partner learned, years ago in childhood, that when they did express disagreement or unhappiness they were ignored or scolded.  You, on the other hand, may have grown up in a family where you were listened to and your feelings were acknowledged and discussed. You felt heard. In this scenario you and your partner will now have two very different ways of talking about difficult issues.

Learn to understand your partner

Remember you are not them so you can’t judge.  So deciding to listen to them and to find out what they really mean will be much more supportive than arguing. You both now have the chance to open up to many more possible outcomes than assuming you’ve understood their intent from your own perspective.

We all have different ways of expressing ourselves, and each of those ways is special and unique to us.  We can, at times, through frustration or plain bad habits, create bad ways of communicating. These habits don’t serve us as they should.

Add to this the fact that men and women communicate very differently and the chances of really understanding each other in times of difficulty can frequently become impossible.

Time and again I see couples in my sessions where neither of them is really understanding the other. This results in circular arguments that go nowhere, leaving each of them hurt, frustrated, angry and withdrawn.

If this is happening to you then now is the time to find out and learn how to truly understand your partner. If you would like to know more then please get in touch now.