My own relationship has faced its own issues, with two marital separations; I know from first-hand how miss-communication and miss-understanding can change a relationship for the worse, how listening is more powerful than speaking, and how the unspoken word can often bring a relationship closer or create distance from those you once loved.
His words of wisdom have stayed with me, and helped coach and guide people with marital problems spanning the globe both in a professional coaching environment and outside. His wisdom has saved marriages and contributed to something much bigger than those few words spoken back in 2006.
1. Listen in the present and avoid gauging them on the past - this is particularly difficult and requires forgiveness and control. It's important to understand that just as two people have different levels of skill within art, the same differences can be experienced within communication. Allow your partner to express themselves at their own pace, respect them to communicate with you at their own pace. Sometimes this requires more listening that it does speaking.
2. Does it need saying and will it affect the way they "experience" you - some things are best left not said. Sometimes emotions fuel negative conversations which result in something best left alone. How your partner connects with you very much relies on the experiences you have provided them in the past. These experiences can at times offer a reflection of how they are feeling so it's time to listen out and if struggling, offer a better daily experience.
3. Honest doesn't mean hurtful - there seems to be a miss-understanding with communication that to be honest means to say something in a way that is best could be interpreted a hurtful. Honesty is about communicating what is honest to you, what works for you and what doesn't, what inspires you to be better than you are and what doesn't. Being honest is essential when communicating with your loved one especially in the bedroom. Remember to respect; we each have our own ideals, values and just because you don't necessarily agree doesn't mean it's the truth in another view.
4. Communication isn't just about what is said - nonverbal communication is considered to be at least 70% of how a person communicates. Listening to the needs and wishes of your partner goes beyond what is said. It's important to look out for those non-verbal keys that things either need discussing or can be left - be aware of your own nonverbal communication.
5. The past doesn't always mean the future - just because a topical conversation didn't pan out the way it should have in the past doesn't mean that it has to the same in the present moment. Start conversations with a fresh objective and a positive outcome; avoid judging the situation with the pre-empted stance. If you need, start the conversation with a positive statement about how you want the conversation to positively end.
6. No-one wins a conversation, you can only lose if you set out to win - quality communication is key when it comes to a lasting relationship, if winning is your objective when communicating with a loved one then you'll be the one in the long term who loses - you'll lose everything.
To summarise - communication is a skill, something that takes time to learn, as your relationship matures so should you, communicate both in and out of the bedroom. The better you communicate with a loved one, the easier intimacy can flow freely without restrictions and barriers.
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