A 3 Step Process to a New Way of Communicating With Your Partner

Communication strengthens your relationship with your spouse

Communication is very important to the success of a relationship, and it’s more than just talking; it involves tone, body language, openness, respect of differences, understanding, thoughtfulness of word use and statements, and it involves asking for clarity when you don’t understand. Many times, in relationships there’s a breakdown in communication because one or both persons don’t understand each other, lacks clarity about a situation, don’t respect each other’s differences, don’t think before they speak, and don’t listen to each other, which damages the relationship.

Communication strengthens your relationship with your spouse

The way you communicate determines what kind of relationship you have, determines how you and your mate deal with things in the relationship, and determines if you avoid talking about situations. It’s important to understand, that when there’s little to no communication, the relationship eventually ends or you end up being more like roommates than a couple. Being able to communicate with each other, strengthens your relationship, your bond, and increases intimacy.

Learn to be an effective communicator

What exactly is communication? According to Dr H. Norman Wright, “Communication is a process of sharing information with another person in such a way that he or she understands what you are saying.” Communication is having the ability to send and receive messages through conversation, being able to listen attentively, speak clearly, and ask for clarification. It’s important to pay attention to the words you use, your body language, and your tone, to be an effective communicator. 55% of your message is your body language, 38% is your tone, and 7% are your words. Keep this in mind when communicating; think about what you’re going to say before you say it, use a positive tone, and be mindful of your facial expressions.

It takes a lot to learn the art of communication, but it’s not impossible. There are secrets to communicating effectively, and you can learn how to communicate – to understand and to be understood, but you must practice the process daily to be effective, to see change, and to experience progress. According to Drs. Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt safety makes connecting possible when it comes to communication, and their understanding of this, lead to the creation of Safe Conversations. 

It takes a lot to learn the art of communication, but it’s not impossible

Structuring safe conversations

Conversations is a structured three-step communication process where partners take turns sending and receiving messages. Safe Conversations is about mirroring, validating, and empathizing, where one person talks (sender) and the other person listens (receiver), and afterwards, you switch. For example; the process is as following:

Sender: “Is now a good time to talk about ______”

Receiver: Confirms and Listens

Sender: Use I statements by saying I feel, I need, or I want _____ (avoid  saying “you never”, and “you always”, and don’t tell you mate what not to do or what he/she is doing wrong. Tell him/her what you want/Ask for what you want)

Mirroring

Receiver: “Let me see if I’ve got it. You said ______” (repeat back what the sender said)

Receiver: “Did I get that?”

Sender: Confirms

Receiver: “Is there more about that?”

Sender: Shares more or states no

Receiver: “Let me see if I got all of that. In summary, you are saying ______”

Receiver: “Did I get that?”

Sender: Confirms

Validating

Receiver: “That makes sense, and what makes sense is________”

Empathizing

Receiver: “I imagine you might be feeling ________”

Receiver: “Is that what you are feeling?”

Receiver: “Are there other feelings?”

Sender: Shares more or states no

Closure

Sender: “Thanks for listening”

Receiver: “Thanks for sharing”

Safe Conversations is a new way of talking, and implementing this process will improve how you communicate in your relationship

Final take away

This is a different and effective way of communicating, and this process provokes curiosity, creates safety, reassures your mate that you are open to what he or she is saying, creates healing, and causes a connection. Safe Conversations is a new way of talking, and implementing this process will improve how you communicate in your relationship, decrease conflicts, and help you restore and maintain the connection with your mate.

Dr. LaWanda N. Evans
Counselor, LPC, NCC
  VERIFIED EXPERT
LaWanda is a Licensed Professional Counselor and the owner of LNE Unlimited. She focuses on transforming the lives of women through counseling, coaching and speaking. She specializes in helping women overcome their unhealthy relationship patterns and provides them solutions for it. Dr. Evans has a unique counseling and coaching style that is known for helping her clients to get to the root of their problems.

More by Dr. LaWanda N. Evans

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