ERP 028: How To Clear An Issue With Your Partner
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Common Marriage Issues
These are my podcast show notes. Be sure to listen to the full episode to hear stories, examples, and more tips.
Over the last few weeks, I have been addressing a listener’s question. She basically asked, “What do you do when you have gotten into a pattern of not avoiding the Nine Destructive Behaviors in relationship conflict? Also, how do you deal with past hurts in this regard.”
To answer her question, I first addressed The Most Important Ingredient To Shifting Conflicts. In my next podcast, I talked about Being The Best You Can Be In Relationship. Third in the podcast series, I discussed How To Repair & Resolve Hurt In Relationship.
Today, I am talking about How To Clear An Issue With Your Spouse/Partner. Basically, I am discussing the 7 important elements to successful communication when you are having an issue with your partner. The exercise I refer to in this episode is A Step-By-Step Guide To Turn Any Argument Into Effective Communication.
How To Clear Common Marriage Issues:
1. Learn To Take Perspective
- The purpose of this communication exercise is to take perspective.
- As you genuinely put yourself in your partner’s shoes, you can gain new understandings and awarenesses you would have not otherwise gained.
- You and your partner will feel emotionally closer and connected as you both share and authentically listen to one another.
2. Don’t Initiate The Conversation With A One Track Mind
- You get stuck because you want your spouse/partner to validate and acknowledge your experience.
- You want them to take ownership for their impact on you and you want them to be understanding and sympathetic to your feelings.
- However, if you lead with trying to get them to take ownership, it is likely they will push back and be defensive.
- If both of you are wanting to be heard at the same time, then you can get stuck in a power struggle.
3. Reprioritize The Goal
- If your goal is to have more understanding and resolution, then it is important to shift the priority (from trying to be heard exclusively) to engaging in a process together.
- Ideally, you will both be working towards the common goal.
- It is almost like the adult version of sharing when you do not want to.
4. Learn This New Language Together
- Communication is a two-way process.
- There is a sender and a receiver.
- It isn’t communication if the receiver can’t understand the message. It would be like speaking a foreign language to someone but they cannot understand you.
5. Recognize The Window Of Opportunity
- There is a small window of opportunity to practice this exercise.
- If you are too upset, you may be too defensive and triggered to be open to learning.
- “Do I want to find resolution?” If “yes,” then proceed. If “no,” then take some space.
- Only you can decide if you will fully participate.
- What comes first: inspiration and motivation or taking action on a task that you don’t really want to do (i.e. cleaning chore or homework assignment)?
- People who think motivation comes first tend to procrastinate. If you wait for inspiration or motivation, it may never come.
- Motivation often comes after taking action.
“Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have — and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up.” ~ James Belasco and Ralph Stayer
7. This Exercise Is Hard!
- It takes a great deal of strength to tolerate your discomfort to be present to your partner’s pain, especially when your partner has an issue with you.
- This is part of the growing, developing, and maturing that relationship/marriage offers us.
- Knowing you will feel closer, more connected, intimate, and bonded will help inspire you to put forth the effort.
Be sure to check out next week’s episode where we will continue this conversation of How To Clear Common Marriage Issues.
If you have a topic you would like me to discuss or a situation you would like me to speak to, please contact me by clicking on the “Ask Dr. Jessica Higgins” button here.
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