“When he said that, I just knew he was wondering whether I actually had that level of experience and I got so angry!”
One of the biggest problems I see with couples who come to me for therapy is one or both partners assuming they know what the other is thinking. Assumption influences how you react to your spouse and visa versa. This communication pattern leads to all types of issues in relationships.
Getting to know your husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend on a deep, intimate level is important. However, equally crucial is remaining curious to what your spouse is thinking, feeling, and experiencing in any given moment. Rather than assuming, ask him or her what is going on.
Have you been noticing your partner being more distant lately? Don’t immediately jump to the conclusion that they must be angry about you coming home late last night. Remain calm and curious. Reflect to him or her the behavior you’ve been noticing and ask what is going on. Remain open to whatever he or she might say and discussing it. Make sure they feel safe to share their perspective and explain what has been going on.
Equally important to encouraging your partner to share is that you feel safe to express and discuss your feelings. Having this type of conversation with someone can be difficult or even scary. This is especially true if something has happened to make either of you feel uncomfortable being vulnerable with one another. If this is the case, you and your spouse will need to do some work to learn to feel safe in expressing your feelings to one another.
Need to improve communication in relationships? Need to learn how to remain curious and avoid assuming things in your relationship? Need help feeling safe to share your feelings with your spouse? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please keep in mind that communications via email over the internet are not secure. Although it is unlikely, there is a possibility that information you include in an email can be intercepted and read by other parties besides the person to whom it is addressed.