Here’s a sentence most husbands and boyfriends dread hearing:
“Honey, we need to talk.”
A man would probably rather hear nails across a chalkboard than his partner uttering those ominous words to him.
Chances are you’ve said those words in your relationships too, when things had reached a tipping point, when something was bothering you, and you tried everything to fix it, to no avail.
You tried being polite and asking for what you want.
Honey, do you mind taking your dirty dishes to the sink instead of leaving them on the coffee table for me to clean up?
You tried to express your feelings.
I don’t like cleaning up after you. It makes me feel unappreciated.
Is there a way you can get your partner to step up and change their behavior in a way that’s loving and will bring you closer? Or is conflict inevitable and blame and shame par for the course in every relationship?
In my video program, Wake Up In A New Marriage, you’ll learn a simple way to get your partner to change their behavior without nagging, long discussions, or arguments.Transform Your Marriage Today
You tried warnings and ultimatums.
If I find another dirty mug and plate where it doesn’t belong, I’m going to scream.
You tried getting his attention with angry outbursts.
I’ve had it! Are you even listening to me??!
And when all else fails, and you thought of a dozen different ways you can approach the situation, you finally get very, very serious and announce, “Honey, we need to talk,” in hopes that finally, FINALLY, you’ll get through to him.
And if you’re like most couples, that request to talk was likely met with:
Or, your partner simply shook his head and walked out of the room.
You don’t get it. Isn’t talking about your relationship supposed to help you solve issues and bring you closer? How else are you supposed to improve your relationship if you can’t TALK about it!
Well, for one thing…
That’s a bold and shocking statement, I know. But, it’s true.
How do I know it’s true? Because research and my own clinical experience working with couples for more than four decades has validated it.
Talking about your relationship in an attempt to reconnect typically makes things worse, not better.
It’s not because you don’t know how to communicate, or because you or your partner aren’t actually motivated to make each other happy. On the contrary, men WANT to be close in a relationship, and they WANT their mate to be happy.
It’s not because you failed to use “I feel…” statements, or because you caught your mate at a bad time and he’s not interested in listening to your complaints right now.
Talking doesn’t make things better because it fails to bring you closer. Talking may work to bring you and your girlfriends or female family members closer, but it won’t necessarily bring you and your husband closer when you’re talking about problems and issues.
And because he responds negatively to talking, or at best, doesn’t respond at all, it makes you feel worse, too.
And that’s because…
The sexes have very different reactions to talking through issues in a relationship.
When a woman feels distant from her mate, it brings up feelings of fear and anxiety. This is a normal reaction for women, who thrive on connection and closeness.
When women feel isolated and rejected, they get worried and anxious.
This is why, if you’re a woman and you’re upset or unhappy, you want to talk it through. You want to feel connected again, and talking helps.
If you’re a man, and your mate wants to bring up her frustration and unhappiness with the relationship and you, it brings up an entirely different feeling.
Shame. Inadequacy. Weakness.
When your man hears a complaint, he believes that he’s disappointed you (even though you don’t agree), and he feels ashamed. His shame is so overwhelming at times that he can’t see beyond it and acknowledge that you’re afraid or worried.
He just thinks, “I’ve failed her.” He freezes up, gets defensive and shuts down.
The more he shuts down, lonelier and more frustrated you feel.
The lonelier you feel, the more you get resentful.
The more resentful you are, the more you criticize and complain.
And the more he feels like a failure.
It’s a downward spiral toward an emotional disconnect and perhaps ultimately, divorce. Statistics show that 80% of couples cite “growing apart” as the reason they called it quits.
That’s “code” for I’m done being unhappy, I don’t love you anymore, and I’d rather make a life without you, thank you very much.
It’s tragic, and it doesn’t have to happen.
And to think it may have all started with, “Honey, we need to talk.”
Isn’t good communication key to a good marriage, you might ask?
Aren’t you supposed to be honest with your partner?
Yes, of course.
I’m not suggesting that good communication is irrelevant, or that you have to lie or stay quiet about how upset or unhappy you are. It doesn’t mean you can never complain to your partner!
You just need to communicate in a way that makes him want to please you instead of shutting down in shame and embarrassment.
And that takes knowing how your man will (or won’t) respond to certain cues, what inspires his devotion and understanding, what will bring you closer, and what will improve your relationship without having to talk about it.
In other words, it takes knowing how to reconnect in your relationship. And that’s something I can absolutely help you with.
Happy couples know how to keep their relationship strong, vital, joyful without having to “talk about it” all the time. They know how to stay connected, so communication is effortless, and “complaining” is unnecessary.
How do they know all this? Is it something they’ve learned, or did they come into this world with these skills?
It doesn’t matter, what matters is that you can learn how to reconnect with your partner without talking about your relationship!
That’s what my video program, Wake Up In A New Marriage, is all about.
It will show you how to turn problems into opportunities for greater closeness, instead of opportunities for blame and contentiousness.
You’ll learn how to use body language to inspire his closeness, how to phrase your needs and desires so he’ll listen and want to please you, how to make him feel more affectionate toward you, and much more.
You’ll also learn the science-based reasons behind why you haven’t been able to talk to your partner about your issues effectively in the past. For example, you’ll learn the common phrase that shuts down communication if you’re a woman trying to discuss things with a man.
Class 3 of the program is all about how to use what you already know about your partner to understand them better, so you can lessen anxiety and conflict within your relationship—especially now that you know that feeling disconnected from your man makes you worried and afraid.
You’ll discover what the #1 predictor of longevity is in a relationship and how you can turn your relationship around virtually overnight.
In Class 3, you’ll also learn about the impact of one of the most contentious issues in relationship: financial stress and spending beyond your means. You’ll hear real-life accounts of couples who were on both sides of this issue, which may help you empathize better with your partner if this is an issue in your relationship, too.
At the end of Class 5, you’ll get an exercise that will help you break the ice around difficult issues in a way that honors your understanding of yourself and your partner.
Remember, learn how to reconnect with your partner FIRST, and you’ll be able to communicate in a way that doesn’t trigger his vulnerabilities, or yours.
All these tools and skills are here, risk-free, for you to start watching and learning now:Improve Your Marriage This Way
May you have an extraordinary day,
Dr. Pat Love