7 Ways To Tackle The Tough Topics In Your Relationship
Whether it's about one of those awkward topics like money or your sex life, or just expressing your feelings about the current state of your relationship, sweeping it under the rug often seems like the most appealing option.
"If it's not affecting me at this moment, why bother?"
"We'll deal with it when it comes up and we'll be fine."
"If I ignore it, maybe it'll go away."
Unfortunately, those solutions almost always lead to more problems. Many people will do everything they can to prevent having to tackle these issues, but studies have shown that it's not addressing these conversations, but avoiding them that causes stress.
From the 'glass half full' perspective, it's these very discussions that build trust and appreciation in your relationship. It's an opportunity to overcome the very things that keep you from growing together. Isn't the future of your relationship worth it?
I know it can be uncomfortable. So here are some do's and don'ts to help make a difficult conversation a little easier:
Timing Is Everything
Set aside a time when you're both open and receptive to talk about it. Waiting until there's an argument to bring it up is not a good idea.
Request, Don't Demand
Invite your partner to the conversation by asking them when it would be best for them to participate. This shows respect for their time and interest in what you have to say. “We need to talk” is not an invitation.
It's Not You, It's Me
Use "I" statements such as, "I feel", "I believe" and "I would like", instead of "You should", "You don't", or [everyone's personal favorite] "You need".
Be receptive to your partner's perspective. The purpose of the conversation is to find a solution, not to prove your partner wrong.
"Bringin' Up Old Stuff?"
Let the past be in the past. This is not the time to discuss your unresolved feelings. It only prevents the real issue from being discussed.
Two Ears, One Mouth
Understand, then be understood. Give your partner the time and space to express themselves fully before responding with your own feelings.
Practice Makes Perfect
Being prepared for those tough discussions can prevent the frustrations that come along with arguing. If you're nervous about facing conflict, get a friend and practice these tips with them.