Having a partner is supposed to make you feel happy and good about your life and yourself. However, not every relationship is perfect. It’s not even a fairytale where you meet your one true love, and then only good things will come your way as if you’ll never encounter a problem. As reality hits, you and your partner will hit a bump, which can affect your relationship. When this happens, you need to look for ways to talk and resolve the problem.
Talking about relationship problems with your partner is complicated. Since feelings are involved, you must keep yourself sensitive while laying out every concern. Ignoring that you have a problem with how your relationship works can result in chaos. Your partner may feel that what’s happening is okay, but you’re completely unhappy. Aside from making you miserable, it can lead to abuse.
There are various relationship problems you may be experiencing, such as love bombing, manipulation, or gaslighting. You can check some gaslighting examples and see if this is happening to you. If it does, you should decide if this is something you’d like to fix or if you’d rather end the relationship.
If you believe your relationship is worth saving, below are some ways you can talk with your partner about relationship problems:
Pick The Right Time To Talk
Timing is essential when you’re having a serious conversation with your partner. Nobody likes to sit down and have a serious talk right after a stressful day at work. You should initiate a talk when you and your partner are both relaxed, which is usually after taking time to rest after a tiring day at work. This way, you don’t begin the conversation in an awful mood, which can lead to a bigger mess.
When you don’t start a conversation at the right time, your partner may not participate; they may choose to step away. This leads you nowhere or adds more problems to what you already have. So, check if you and your partner are ready to be good communicators and listeners.
Set Distractions Away
Along with setting the right time to talk with your partner, ensure that you both keep distractions at bay. This includes putting your phone in ‘do not disturb’ or silent mode. You should both free your mind with the chores or things you need to do.
If you have children, you can talk with your partner while your children are asleep or ask someone to be with them in the afternoons if you’re too tired at night. You can ask their grandparents to spend the afternoon with them so that you can have a serious conversation with your partner.
Set Your Goals
It’s tempting to push that you’re right in a situation. Even if you believe you’re the only one who’s right, know that your partner feels the same. Keeping this mindset leads you nowhere. To make sense of your conversation, you should set goals regarding what you want to happen in your relationship.
Ideally, you should focus on talking to your partner to resolve the problem and not strongly insist that you’re right. Solving the situation is better than your self-satisfaction. This way, you can allow your relationship to grow and mature.
Focus On One Issue At A Time
It’s easy to get distracted when you’re already having a serious conversation with your partner. During your talk, you may go off-topic and deal with some other issues that you’ve both been holding back. However, this can only lead to another problem without finding a resolution to your first concern. To ensure that you’ll be able to resolve your issues, you should focus on one point at a time.
If your partner is bringing up other issues, you can tell them, ‘Let’s talk about one issue at a time’ or ‘I’d appreciate resolving that issue later or tomorrow. But I would like to focus on working out this problem today.’ This should help you stay on track and give your full attention to resolving your initial issue.
Start With A Positive Conversation
You need to show your partner that you’re going to deal with a difficult conversation and you’re optimistic that you’re going to resolve the problem together. You can begin by saying something like this, ‘Thank you for your willingness to talk about this. I’ve been bottling this up for a while, and I feel I just need to lay it out in the open.’
Letting your partner know where you’re coming from can help them to understand you further. As a result, they may get less defensive during the conversation.
Do Not Raise Your Voice
In an argument, you may unintentionally raise your voice to prove your point or get too emotional with the scenario. When this happens, you need to remind yourself to continue with the conversation in a calm and neutral tone.
Raising your voice causes more harm to your issue, as your partner can respond differently. They may raise their voice as well or feel like you’re belittling them, making them scared.
If you’re having difficulty controlling your voice, talk to your partner in public. In this setting, you’ll control your emotions as you don’t want other people to hear your screams.
It’s easy to blame your partner to make yourself feel good about your relationship. But be open to the fact that you may also contribute to the problem. To allow for better resolution, you should take responsibility for your actions.
Accept that your partner’s not the only one who needs to be blamed. Showing this to your partner indicates that you’re willing to resolve your issues.
Use ‘I’ Statements
When speaking with your partner, it might be tempting to use ‘you’ statements as it’s your perspective on the problem. However, this can make it feel like you’re attacking your partner instead of looking for ways to resolve it peacefully.
You can begin by using ‘I’ statements with your partner. For example, instead of saying, ‘You don’t listen,’ you can tell them, ‘I feel unheard and unimportant.’ This way, they can know your emotions and how you respond to their actions. This should give them an idea of how to move forward and find a resolution to the problem.
Do Not Assume
Your partner isn’t a mind-reading machine. They have no idea what’s happening in your mind unless you say it out loud. Don’t expect your partner to know how you feel and what you want to happen. Instead, explain to your partner about everything. Don’t leave out any details; you need to be as specific as possible. In particular, you should tell them how you feel and what you want to happen.
Instead of saying, ‘you should know me better by now,’ you can say, ‘I need you to see how upset I am with our situation. Can I tell you how I feel? I need your support and understanding right now.’ This can lead to a more positive conversation, as you’re being direct with what you want to happen.
Be Clear About Your Emotions
Emotions are at play when you’re discussing relationship issues with your partner. To help your partner understand where you’re coming from, you should be clear about your emotions and emphasize what you feel.
You can tell them how their small actions negatively affect you and how much you’ll appreciate it if they can find a way around it. You should highlight the problem and let them know how you feel. For example, ‘It makes me feel sad and in pain when you don’t introduce me as your girlfriend to other people.’ Letting your partner know how you feel takes the guesswork out.
Understand That They Are Hurt Too
Never invalidate your partner’s feelings toward the problem, even if it’s only directly affecting you. Understand that your partner may also get hurt by your relationship problems.
They may not be saying or showing it, but it can also affect them negatively. You don’t fully understand where they’re coming from, so don’t assume they’re not concerned with your problems.
Do Not Insult
When you’re full of emotions, you may call your partner names about their attitude. It can be calling them selfish, lazy, or clueless. Those simple words can cause more problems and worsen the situation. You should still respect your partner’s emotions even if you’re in conflict.
Find ways to let them know how you feel as gently as possible. Insulting your partner can damage your relationship permanently, as it’ll scar them for life. With respect, you can make your relationship last.
Be A Good Listener
When you open up your feelings to your partner, you expect them to listen to what you say and understand what you feel about the situation. You need to do the same for your partner. You should be a good listener when it’s their turn to speak. Understand their thoughts and opinions and see a resolution for every issue they raise.
When your partner’s speaking, never interrupt them, as this can be a sign of disrespect or invalidation. Instead, listen and give them your full attention. Lean your entire body toward their direction and don’t fidget with other objects or look at the time. Look directly into their eyes and focus.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
If your partner isn’t saying too much during your conversation, you may consider asking them open-ended questions. This way, they can be encouraged to speak more during your discussion rather than just agreeing with you and being quiet.
If you ask simple close-ended questions, you may end up being the one who’ll talk, and they’ll be like a robot who just agrees with you. You should ask open-ended questions to know how they’re feeling.
For example, you can ask them, ‘How do you feel about that?’ This should help them open up about their opinions. From there, the conversation can continue.
Speak To Understand Their Opinion
A great way to let your partner know you’re listening is by repeating what they’re saying from your point of view. For example, you can say, ‘From what I understand, you’re saying that… .’ This can help de-escalate the intense situation and prevent your partner from being upset. This shows that you’re trying to understand what they’re saying and putting yourself in their shoes.
When doing this, ensure that you don’t redirect the attention to yourself but instead focus on your partner’s thoughts and opinions.
Feel Free To Take A Time Out
There are times wherein you feel that the situation can worsen or it’s way too complicated to continue. To avoid this, you can ask your partner if you can take time out and let yourselves be calm before returning to your discussion. During the time out, you can take a walk outside or take a relaxing bath at home. Ideally, you should be alone so you can fully reflect on yourself.
It’s best if you and your partner resume the conversation within 24 hours. When you and your partner are calm, you can sit down and continue where you left off with a better perspective of each other. This should help avoid further conflicts and keep the peace.
Resolve The Issue As A Team
You and your partner are a team. You should see the problem as the enemy. A great way to resolve relationship problems is by compromising on a solution that’ll benefit both of you.
This may require sacrifices from both parties, but it’s the whole point of making a relationship work. Come up with a compromise that’s fair to you regarding advantages and sacrifices.
Talking about relationship problems with your partner is never easy, especially when the issue is too intense. But as you choose the right time to speak with your partner and allow your conversation to be peaceful and mature, you should be able to look for ways to make the relationship work and get past the hurdle. It can be a challenge, but it’ll help strengthen your relationship. If you can get through this, you can get through almost everything.