How do you approach difficult subjects with your significant other? Do you send them an email, write a note, or wait until dinner time to be face to face? Or maybe you bottle everything up and wait until a fight breaks out and the dam opens up? Maybe you just let everything slide off your shoulders and smile continuously, the unbreakable persona of a human being without a care? I doubt you are the latter as very few people are devoid of basic human emotions. If you are one of those few please feel free to read no further! 😉
Everyone has different approaches that may (or may not) work for them. I suggest the approach where you do actually talk about things with your partner (I know crazy right?). Create a safe space in which you can bring up the fact that you are having doubts about the relationship, have a problem with your father-in-law, or are worried about your partner’s spending habits. Having a safe space is key to communicating effectively because it allows you to say what needs to be said.
Creating that safe space-
The safe space doesn’t need to be an actual physical space. It is the idea that the environment needs to be conducive to discussing a particular subject. Here are some examples of some good environments to talk in:
- At home over dinner is the perfect time to talk about your day (granted you don’t have kids) and also to bring up anything that may be bothering you.
- Going on a walk with your partner is a great time to discuss important topics. You can read more about this in my post on why walking together is great.
- In the car on a long drive. Neither of you can walk away in this setting! You are forced to chat, unless you want to sit a 3 hour drive in total silence!
Equally important to this topic is the fact that there are certain places in which you might not want to bring things up! Here are some examples:
- During a big family get together. This is definitely not the best time to tell your partner that you aren’t sure if things are working out. There needs to be legit room for the conversation to unfold and this can’t happen if you are getting constantly interrupted, or nosy relatives are butting into the conversation!
- Talking over the phone or over text is a great way to stay in touch, but it shouldn’t be used to talk about sensitive subjects. Avoid this pitfall and wait for a better opportunity. However, I will say that I do not encourage you to be fake if you really are upset with person. A text saying “Hey, I am pretty upset with you right now, can we please talk later?” Is much better than “Hey I am pissed at you for not taking the trash out, why don’t you ever just do things!?” The latter is a great way to start a fight!
- Basically anytime that the two of you are not alone is a bad time to talk about difficult subjects. You may have to be intentional to create that space, but do so quickly before things become bottled up!
Talking about difficult subjects is necessary to strengthen every relationship. Make sure you pick the right time and the right environment to do so, and the outcome will be a positive one. Happiness is directly related to how you communicate with your spouse. Be intentional about learning how to best articulate your thoughts and emotions and your relationship will most undoubtedly flourish.
Thanks for reading and good luck!