4 Words Sure To Boost Communication With Your Partner

4 Words Sure To Boost Communication With Your Partner
Love, Self

Having trouble talking with your partner? These four words will get you back in sync in no time.

Most couples rate effective communication highest on their challenge list of a happy marriage. Usually., we experience ourselves as understanding the other very well, thank you very much.

However, in one research project, partners were invited to make statements that could be interpreted in various ways depending on the intonation. So partners might say something like, "What are you doing?" Then, the spouse interprets the meaning based by on the tone of voice.

One could be hostile in the sense of "What is wrong with you?" or just curious in the sense of, "What are you involved in right now?" Interestingly enough, partners were no better than strangers at recognizing the intention of the speaker. Many times both were wrong.

When Harville Hendricks, the author of Getting the Love You Want, gives workshops, he often seeks to remedy this problem by offering an exercise. One partner speaks about something of importance to them, while the other simply listens.

After the first partner describes an upset during the course of the day, the other responds with, "Let me see if I got you." After summarizing the gist of what the first partner has said, the second partner asks, "Did I get you?"

Often, it helps to be humble here. Many times, the partner will respond by saying, "I did say the first part, but the second part did not feel quite like what I wanted to say." So, the first partner adds the nuance and again the other partner responds, beginning with, "Let me see if I've got you," summarizes, and again ends with the question, "Did I get you?"

While at first this seems a little tedious, couples soon discover that the deeper meaning of "Did I get you?" has to do with helping you get to the essence of who the partner really is. A partner may start out talking about how upset their boss was at them, but underneath may be realizing how much he or she wants to leave the job.

So, in communicating with your partner, seek to "get" the real person underneath by allowing them to talk, summarize as accurately as possible, and then allow the partner to correct and go deeper into what really matters and what counts. In this way, you will truly "get" your partner.

As a marriage counselor and partner to his wife for over 40 years, Dr. Jim Walkup helps couples build their relationship to last a lifetime. Visit his website for a copy of his eBook "A Marriage Counselor’s Secrets To Making Your Marriage Sizzle". Or, if you're in the state of New York, to schedule a Skype appointment or an in-person office appointment, call 914-548-8645 or drop Dr. Walkup an email at jimwalkup@gmail.com

This article was originally published at Mid-Manhattan Marriage Counseling. Reprinted with permission from the author.