One key factor to consider when you or your loved one raises a complaint is its purpose. In an article from The Huffington Post, exploring what you hope will happen by voicing your preferences is cause for reflection.
In this scenario, your significant other could have been more observant and in tune with the expression of love he was shown through the preparation of a special meal. Showing his love would have been being a good sport and eating the meal without killing the gesture of affection. Hidden within the complaint may have been an internal message: I do not want the relationship to change and grow more intimately.
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On the other hand, you set yourself up for disappointment by a backdoor attempt to gain intimacy before voicing your emotional needs within the relationship. He believes status quo is working just fine and you want to build a stronger connection. Without nurturing a committed relationship, a safe place to complain cannot be established and the cycle of defensiveness continues.
So how do you — as a couple — break out of this cycle? Here are a few communication tips:
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Develop mutual trust. This seems like a given: a couple assumes a foundation of truth and honesty from each other, but the norm in many relationships is avoiding topics that set each other off. Tiptoeing around emotional land mines only pushes unresolved issues internally. These issues have not disappeared simply because of the silent agreement of not talking about them. The best way to develop mutual trust is to discuss small but uncomfortable topics, reach a conclusion and use those experiences as a foundation to build your relationship. Keep reading...