Myth: Communication Tools Will Save Our Marriage
Are communication skills enough to save a relationship?
I often hear from my clients that they believe that if they could communicate better, their relationship would improve drastically.
Communication tools are really important and make a difference to your relationships for sure, and that is why I've dedicated ten years to finding the most effective tools out there! And even have a course on communication (you can check it out here).
But communication is also more nuanced than just tools!
I get it, it can be so frustrating when you try so hard to connect with your partner but it feels like it falls on deaf ears (or exploding instead)! Maybe you've read tons of books and tried various techniques. It's helped some, but you usually only remember after the fact.
So what's wrong? What's missing?
Here is why:
Nervous system dysregulation & Triggers!!
Triggers are areas (including topics) that feel very vulnerable that we tend to get super protective around.
This means our nervous system gets freaked out when we get near that point and goes into protection mode (fight, flight, freeze, or fawn), and so, hearing (i.e. mutual understanding and connection) is not a priority then! But winning the fight (to stay alive, it thinks) is the priority.
We need to deactivate the triggers, or at least regulate the nervous system before we can continue the conversation to get the impact we want! I have amazing techniques to help you deactivate triggers and release body stored shame.
But in the meantime, here are two tips to improve your communication:
Are you really being specific enough? We are usually being vague - more than we thought we are. By saying "you're always working" or "I don't like it when.." We are still not being as specific as we could be. Try asking for exactly what you want! "Hey love, you're working really hard, and I so appreciate it. I've noticed I miss you a lot. Do you think we could somehow have dinners together again? If so, what do you suggest?”
Just because you know someone, doesn’t mean you really know everything they are thinking and intending. Logic is not logical for everyone! Eg. If you grew up in a house where physical affection wasn't common, then it's often harder to be physically affectionate with others. But if you grew up with a lot of physical affection - it's easy and 'normal' to be affectionate! And even if you've been together for 10, 20, or 50 years - you might not be right about what your partner is thinking! ASK them is the safest way to know what they are really thinking or intended.
My clients often can’t believe how much their struggle wasn’t about the communication topics as much as it was about the pattern they were stuck in. And feel such relief when they get clear on their patterns, release the past, and break down the stumbling blocks.
I’m rooting for you!
Here in love, for love,