3. Not communicating
Does every conversation turn into a fight?
Good communication boils down to learning to ask for what you need; don’t expect the other person to be a mind reader, Bahar notes.
Avoid vague statements and assumptions, Bahar says: “Make more ‘I’ statements and clearly assert what you want.” (Think he’s not listening? Try these other 9 communication tricks.)
What holds us back? Blame bad patterns we saw in our families growing up, such as conflict avoidance, fear of how your husband will respond, unresolved traumas and more.
“Learning to really listen to each other is so important, but can be surprisingly hard to do,” Shinbaum says.
She suggests this exercise: Sit down facing each other. One partner makes a statement while the other simply listens – without responding – and then repeats what he or she said. Sometimes, Shinbaum says, this exercise takes as many as 10 tries before the listening partner gets what the other was expressing.
Women have an especially difficult time stating their needs, Bahar notes. You may find it easier if you ask yourself, How does my request serve our relationship as a couple?
For example, you’re exhausted from the week and would like your husband to help with the children on Saturday morning, so you can go to your favorite yoga class. Consider how a more peaceful, rejuvenated you makes a better a partner for your husband.
By running your request through this filter, you may realize that what you’re about to ask for can help strengthen the relationship.