One of the first signs of a truly troubled relationship is not fighting, but the lack of it. When you stop talking with one another, a rift can develop between you that will lead to greater problems in the future. For this reason, I highly recommend you take the time to encourage open communication between yourself and your partner on a regular basis. The following communication exercises will ensure you are able to do this to the greatest extend possible.
End of the Night Conference
One of the biggest obstacles to regular communication is your daily schedule. So, schedule time every day to sit down and talk to your partner. Even just 15-30 minutes at the end of day, carved out of the time you might spend watching TV, is plenty. Go for a walk together, have a glass of wine, sit on the porch or talk in bed before going to sleep. Whatever you do, make it a regular part of your schedule. Don’t just talk when a problem comes up – this will leave out too many small details that eventually add up to a much larger problem.
Many people are afraid to voice their opinions for fear that it will upset their partner or start an argument. But, as someone in a relationship, it is important that, if you have a problem, you tell the other person what you are concerned about. It may start an argument, but that is okay because it is a natural part of a relationship. More importantly, if you have a problem with how someone cleans the bathroom, mentioning it will cause a small disagreement but will at least get your opinion out there. If you wait and a dozen or more little issues like this build up in your mind, then the next time you get upset, you’re likely to blow up much more so than if you just mentioned these things as they came up. Of course, don’t nag the person you love either. Accept their foibles along with their strengths – just don’t keep issues to yourself. It’s not healthy.
If you have a problem with something, offer a solution. Pointing out problems without offering a solution is a sure way to drive someone else insane and to create animosity where it doesn’t need to be. Offer to clean the bathroom yourself if your partner will take over vacuuming so you can do the bathroom as you’d like it to be done. No one gets hurt and you both do your share. The key here is to ensure you don’t judge your partner’s actions without offering your opinion on what you can both do better in the situation.
A relationship is not easy. It never will be. But if you keep the lines of communication open, it will be a lot simpler to maintain a healthy relationship even through tough times.