Connecting As A Couple Part II

That Was a Train Wreck

So you had the difficult conversation, but you don’t feel like your partner heard you or they shrugged it off.  You may feel like no matter what you say they do not hear you. Ugh, yes, I’ve been there. There is nothing worse than having a difficult conversation and you feel like you have not been heard. They nod, they say okay, but no action or understanding is behind the response or worse, they take it personally.

When I have been in this situation, I often take a step back and ask myself “okay Nicole, what did I say and how did I say it?” Sometimes it has nothing to do with what we say, it has to do with how we say it (my mother’s words, screaming in my head). Ask yourself, how is your tone? Did you blurt out what you wanted to say, and was a hot mess? Did you throw it on them when they first walk in the door, like surprise here is my shit that I have been thinking about all day and now I’m going to word vomit on you because I’m nervous and not sure what to say. Hey, we have all been there, it is okay, hope is not lost.

Here are some techniques to help you say what is needed.

Timing-don’t dump on your partner when they walk through the door, do set up a time to have a conversation. Example, hey I would like to talk to you about a few things later, they are important to me, what time works for you?

What to say– What are the major points? What is your immediate need(s)? Hint, it is okay to ask for guidance from your guides. I often do this before a difficult conversation, it can be as simple as: “please help me say what I need to in a way that I will be heard in a compassionate and direct way, help me find my words.”

How to Say It– Do not talk down to your partner, this can be difficult when you have “had” this conversation before. General rule, how do you want to be spoken to?

Do not bring past conversations/fights/miscommunications into the current conversation especially if those have been resolved. Nothing worse than dragging up old crap and throwing it around to make a shit show out of the current situation.

 Take a deep breath, exhale and say it with kindness, compassion and honesty.

Connecting as a Couple – Part 1

Do you have Expectations without Communication?

|Nicole Lillis

February 24, 2019

Over the years, hearing client’s stories, communication seems to be the biggest breakdown in any relationship, whether it’s in a marriage or a new dating situation. Each person often has a certain expectation of what they want and need in a relationship, and sometimes those needs remain silent and in our heads, rather than letting our partner know. It’s no wonder a  couple ends up fighting, or that people leave rather than have the difficult conversation. Most of us are really under-practiced when it comes to communication

Let’s define Expectation and Needs. Expectation is what we think our partner should do based on our own expectations of ourselves (holding ourselves to a standard and expecting they hold themselves to the same). Needs are what is required for you to feel happy, secure, respected and a host of other feelings to want to stay in your relationship.

 So why is it so difficult for both men and women to express these needs? What is it that holds you back? Do you worry your partner will no longer like or love you? Do you worry you will be viewed as needy or impetuous or the ultimate extreme? Do you worry they will leave?

For those of you in a marriage or long-term relationship, I implore you to have those difficult conversations. You made it through your honeymoon phase, you have made it this far, why not tell the truth in a kind and direct way? What do you truly have to lose?

For those of you dating, be open and honest about your needs and what you are looking for in a partner. Communicating this information sets the precedent right away, so there is no confusion. Either your new partner is on the same page about the direction and what they are looking for or they are not. And, ask yourself, would you rather find out now or wait 6 months, or a year or more to find out you are not on the same page?

Having a difficult conversation is not easy.  I get it.  I’ve been there more than a few times. Being open, honest and direct about your needs in any relationship, though, will create less conflict and confusion going forward. Take a deep breath, exhale, and say what you need to say with kindness, compassion and honesty. You will be surprised what waits for you on the other side.  Good luck. Reach out if you feel you need practice voicing something, if you attempted a talk and it felt like a backfire, or if you had the talk, and are left wondering what can we do next to connect.