How To Effectively Communicate With Your Partner?

Communication is one of the core building blocks of a healthy relationship and both partners need to understand the importance of communication in relationships if they intend to make their relationship last. A budding romantic relationship is not likely to last beyond the honeymoon phase if partners are unable to express their feelings openly and communicate with each other effectively.
If you’re in seventh heaven, you may not notice the little red flags. But rest assured that being unable to communicate with your partner is one of them. Don’t attempt to sweep these things under the rug. Be honest to yourself and to your partner and work on your communication and intimacy issues instead of ignoring them.

Why Communication Is Important In A Relationship

Every relationship is a two-way street and it takes two people to make it work. Sometimes, establishing healthy communication and building a healthy relationship comes easy. Other times, it’s a struggle that takes time and patience, especially if you feel you may be stuck in a codependent relationship.
Many couples do not know how to fix communication in a relationship as much as they want to. They cannot see eye to eye, especially in the heat of an argument, which may lead to further issues that they could easily overcome.

The Common Communication Pitfalls In A Relationship

Couples tend to make certain universal mistakes that are preventing them from communicating effectively:

  • Texting instead of talking face to face: communication in writing may lead to misinterpretation.
  • Using the accusatory tone and attacking the partner using ‘you’ language. (e.g.: You need to do this if you want our relationship to work; You never listen, etc.)
  • Resorting to universal, generalizing statements with words used for emphasis such as never, always, every time, everyone, so, such etc.  (e.g. You never remember to do what I ask; You’re so selfish; You let me down every time; etc.). Commenting on your partner’s personality instead of their behavior. (e.g.: You’re dumb instead of You’re smart but you did not think through what you did last night)
  • Demeaning behavior such as invalidating your partner’s feelings. (e.g.: You’re overreacting; You’re being unreasonable; You’re acting irrational, etc.)

Lack Of Communication In A Relationship: A Challenge To Overcome

If one’s partner idea of achieving a set goal is to give the other partner the silent treatment and rely on a passive-aggressive approach instead of communicating their feelings openly, it could be a sign that the relationship is heading nowhere. Any communication breakdown in a relationship is a challenge the couple needs to work on overcoming effectively.

Can A Relationship Survive Without Communication?

Chances are we all know couples in long yet dysfunctional relationships which suffer from chronic lack of communication. Chances are these relationships cannot survive. The resulting toxicity will take its toll eventually unless the partners are aware of the problem and take action to resolve it.
You also need to openly discuss your old relationship patterns such as being avoidant or secretive, and being anxious and/or controlling, so they would not affect your current relationship.

How Can Couples Communicate Better?

There are various effective strategies that you and your partner can employ to foster communication. Better communication equals a stronger relationship. Try the following:

  • Create a set of rules for your relationship. Communicating your priorities to each other can be an eye-opening experience.
  • Apologize to your partner when an apology is in order. Do not hold a grudge and risk deepening a conflict. Likewise, request an apology if you feel you’re entitled to one.
  • Take responsibility for your feelings and do not expect your partner to read your mind.
  • Proceed with caution during an argument: remember that words, like actions, have consequences.
  • Be mindful of your body language. Listen to your partner, be attentive and respectful.
  • Schedule a time to discuss important matters when it’s most convenient for both of you. When emotions are running high, you run the risk of exacerbating a communication breakdown.
  • Take the time to think before you act. If something your partner did made you upset, give it some time before approaching them about it. Experts suggest following the 48-hour rule which should be enough for the matter to blow over or at least for you to cool your head.
  • Go off grid: make a plan to say no to technology when you’re spending quality time together, at least for a weekend, and stick to it.
  • Learn to negotiate things with your partner.
  • Focus on yourself. You are not responsible to manage your partner’s emotions but solely your own. The partners’ emotional maturity is pivotal to the success of a relationship.
  • Show respect and kindness even if your partner is refusing to reciprocate.
  • Do not take things personally. Your partner may be having a bad day or having difficulty expressing their thoughts.
  • Be open to your partner’s attempts to make things work. Anger and frustration could prevent you from meeting them halfway, which you may regret later on.
  • Be open-minded. Your partner may have an alternative point of view that differs from your own considerably. Be flexible and show willingness to reach a compromise.
  • A couple that laughs together stays together. Add some humor to lighten the atmosphere.
  • Steer clear of excessive negativity and criticism. It’s all too easy for things to get out of hand and for you to say things you’ll end up regretting when you’re upset. Remember to state positive comments that will show your partner how much you respect and appreciate them.
  • Focus on one thing at a time. If you’re upset that your partner forgot about the plans you made weeks ago, stick to the topic and do not mention any other unresolved issues.

What Is Healthy Communication In Relationships?

If you and your partner are in it for the long run, you have to build a healthy relationship foundation. Whether you’ve been together for some time or you’re just starting a new relationship, healthy communication is key.
Healthy communication in a relationship means that partners are honest and open to each other. They are not afraid to speak their mind and discuss what’s bothering them without feeling guilty or putting the blame on the partner.

Empowering You For Effective Communication With Your Partner

Healthy communication does not equal an ideal relationship scenario where conflicts are out of the question and it’s all rainbows and unicorns. It simply means that partners can talk to each other in a meaningful way and make it work in the real world, and that’s all that really matters.
Our PIVOT Advocate can help you work on fostering healthy communication between you and your partner, or you can join a personalized couples workshop for deepening a relationship at our retreat: The Glass House. Communication is something you learn, much like any other skill. Call today and let us help you overcome communication challenges and resolve conflicts that are plaguing your relationship.

Intimacy In Relationships: What You Should Know

Many couples tend to confuse intimacy with sexual activities in their relationship. What they don’t know, however, is that true intimacy comes in many forms, all of which have to do with building trust and enhancing closeness between partners.
Being in a relationship comes with a myriad of struggles, including everything from emotional withdrawal and silent treatment to engulfment and control. For many people, dealing with issues in their personal relationships can take a great toll on their mental health and decrease the overall quality of their lives. That’s why building intimacy with your partner is a must if you want you and your partner to be happy and your relationship to last.
In this blog post, we’ll tell you all about the meaning of intimacy and how to improve intimacy in a relationship.

What Is Intimacy In A Relationship?

What does true intimacy mean? Well, by definition, intimacy involves feelings of closeness, vulnerability, and openness between partners in a relationship. While intimate relationships typically include physical acts of love, they don’t necessarily have to be sexual.
A sexual relationship may or may not include emotional intimacy between two partners. This is why we may have one-night stands and other sexual acts that don’t involve intimacy and love.

What Are The Four Types Of Intimacy?

Intimacy manifests itself in many ways. A healthy relationship would include and nourish each of the following types of intimacy:

  • Emotional intimacy means that you are able to share your deepest thoughts and feelings with your partner and don’t fear being vulnerable around them. Nourishing this form of intimacy is essential for maintaining a healthy relationship.
  • Physical intimacy entails acts of affection between two partners. While this type of intimacy does involve sexual activities, it isn’t the same as sexual intimacy. It also involves everything from kissing and hugging to holding hands with your partner.
  • Intellectual intimacy includes sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings with your partner. For instance, talking about your interests and favorite music will help you deepen the intellectual or cognitive intimacy with your partner.
  • Experiential intimacy means sharing experiences with your partner, whether it’s traveling together, taking a walk, going to the movies, or any other activity that can bring you closer together.

How Do You Rebuild Intimacy In A Relationship?

Building intimacy in a relationship is crucial if you want to have a mature and lasting bond with your partner. Here are some tips for restoring the feelings of intimacy in your relationship.

Talk Things Through

If you no longer feel connected to your partner, you should first try to determine the underlying struggles that may have caused your emotional intimacy issues and have an honest conversation about them. Just make sure to be completely honest and attentive to what your partner has to say – healthy communication in a relationship is a must if you want it to work.

Share Experiences

Instead of spending your evenings on your phone while your partner is on a computer, try engaging in activities you both get to enjoy. For instance, going on a weekend trip or simply seeing a movie together will help build a stronger bond and bring you closer together.

Work On Physical Intimacy Too

While emotional intimacy should definitely be your starting point, it’s important that you don’t neglect the physical aspect of the relationship. Sexual activities and other physical acts of love, such as cuddling and hugging, can greatly improve your mood and help you reconnect with your partner.

Give It Time

You can’t rebuild intimacy overnight, especially if you’re trying to repair a relationship after a crisis or infidelity. If you are patient with your partner and communicate openly with them, you will manage to rebuild trust and deepen the connection over time.

What Are Some Good Relationship-Building Activities For Couples?

No relationship can work without effort from both parties. If you and your partner need help maintaining intimacy, experts recommend the following healthy relationship workshop activities for strengthening the bond with your partner:

  • Extend cuddle time: many couples get so lost in their busy lives that they forget to cuddle. Cuddling a couple of times per week can do wonders for deepening the connection with your partner.
  • Allow your partner to vent: a great exercise for enhancing intimacy is to have uninterrupted listening sessions. This means that you should set a timer, let your partner speak and simply listen to what they have to say, without judgment and defensiveness.
  • Play the 5 things game: this simple but versatile exercise is both fun and effective. It involves you and your partner taking turns to state five things on a certain topic, such as “what are the five things you’d like to change in your life”, or anything along those lines.
  • Engage in soul gazing: Sit face to face with your partner with your knees almost touching. Try to maintain eye contact and say nothing for around 3-5 minutes. You can make the exercise easier by playing a song and trying soul gaze while it lasts.
  • Have weekly meetings: Many relationship struggles arise from a lack of communication between partners. By having conversations without distractions every week, you can get insight into your partner’s thoughts and avoid communication errors.

It’s important to note that you shouldn’t expect immediate change if you do these exercises a couple of times and then go back to your old ways. Rebuilding a relationship takes time, especially if you’re dealing with issues like dealing with codependency in a relationship or struggling with love addiction.
That is why couples can greatly benefit from relationship coaching or attending intensive workshops aided by seasoned professionals who can help them rekindle intimacy in a healthy way.

Rebuild Your Bond With Modern Relationship Intimacy Coaching

Sometimes, a relationship can keep going downhill no matter how hard you try to maintain a healthy connection. This often happens because couples simply don’t have the time to focus on actively working on their relationship with all the distractions they have to deal with in their everyday lives. Because of this, many couples find that relationship coaching can be highly beneficial for enhancing intimacy and building lasting bonds between them.
With PIVOT, you can transform your relationship swiftly and effectively with the help of our seasoned PIVOT Advocates. In addition to our relationship coaching programs, we also offer customized couples retreats at The Glass House where you can work on your relationship with complete focus and bring about immediate change.
Why wait? Reach out to us today and make your relationship thrive!