Maybe your relationship is struggling. You’re wondering if you’re a good match still. You used to be good, great even. Then, the honeymoon phase passed, and you don’t quite feel the same as you did at the beginning of your relationship. You’re wondering if there’s anything you can do to make things like they used to be.
Or maybe your relationship is great. It may even be the best it’s been in a while or the best relationship you’ve ever had. Now, you’re wondering what you can do to keep it this way or to make it even better if that’s even possible.
Either way, communicating with your partner is essential in any type of relationship. Whether it’s romantic, friendly, family, or a colleague, communication is needed to help you express your wants, needs, values, and beliefs. Think about how these relationships would look if you didn’t have communication.
If you’re looking to improve communication in your relationship, look no further. This is how to communicate with your partner in order to have a healthier relationship.
It can be easy to fall into a routine, especially after being in a long-term relationship, to come home after a long day at work, ask your partner about their day, eat dinner together, and then get ready for bed. You need to dig deeper than that. Instead of asking, “Was your day okay”, try to ask something that will require them to speak and dig deeper into how their day went like, “How was your day?” Allow your partner a safe and open space to communicate their thoughts and feelings.
Boundaries may seem harsh or like something that only needs to be set in a negative way, but that’s certainly not the case. Boundaries are actually a necessity for all healthy relationships. They’re what make sure your wants and needs are being met and respected. Make sure you and your partner each have your own boundaries and that each partner is aware of them. Boundaries can involve things like time, space, and emotions. Here are a few examples of boundaries that you can set in your relationship:
- Wanting to have a night with friends once a week
- Not wanting to have sex with your partner for a certain period of time
- Texting or having phone calls at certain times during the day
- Your stance on public displays of affection or PDA
You know what they say about assuming… Don’t assume when it comes to your partner either. You wouldn’t want them to assume anything about you, so show them that same level of respect. Never assume what they’re thinking or how they’re feeling. When you have healthy and open communication, you should have no trouble asking them. It’s a lot easier and takes a lot less time to be direct rather than beating around the bush about certain things.
Speak and Listen to One Another
Relationships are a two-way street. This means that both partners should be speaking and listening. One partner should not be controlling the conversation and not letting the other person have a say in anything. You can’t make a relationship work if it’s one-sided. Take the time to make sure both sides are being heard and understood.
Seek Additional Support
It’s okay to ask for additional support. If you and your partner are both on the same page and want to make this work, going to therapy is a great option for both of you. Therapy isn’t just for relationships that aren’t working. It’s a great resource to help you strengthen and deepen your relationship to make it even better.
Whether your relationship is rocky or you’re literally rockin’ it, a therapist can help you better your communication with one another. Depending on your wants or needs, individual therapy, couples therapy, or a mix of the two may be a great option for you and your partner. Reach out today to set up a consultation for couples or marriage counseling.
About the author(s)
Karen is the founder and Clinical Director of Cohesive Therapy NYC. She earned a Masters in Social Work from New York University and has extensive training in Hypnosis, Anxiety, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Brainspotting, and DGBI. She is a member of the Institute of Certified Anxiety Treatment Professionals, The Rome Foundation, the National Association of Social Workers, The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, and the American Social of Clinical Hypnosis.