Skip to main content

Communication Tips for Couples #5

 

Couples Communication Tip #5

One of the biggest topics that bring folks to couples counseling is lack of communication.  This is the last tip in this series of Couples Communication Tips.

Today's tip is about Oversharing.  This is about being direct and communicating with your partner about what you need.

You've heard it before, that your partner can't read your mind.  Well, unfortunately, no matter how long you've been together, your partner cannot read your mind.

In order to avoid some arguments, fights, and miscommunications, you need to overshare.

Tell your partner exactly what you need or expect
Wives, your husband doesn't automatically know you'd love for him to wash the dishes in the sink, or take out the trash when it's full.  Husbands, you wive doesn't automatically know that you'd like 30 to relax when you get home from work, just to unwind, before engaging with her and the kids.  

Trust me, I've been a victim of this way of thinking too.  I assume that because it would be natural for me, or it's at the top of my mind, that, of course my husband would have the same thought or response.  But guess what - he doesn't.  He thinks very differently than me.  So, if I want him to know something or do something I have to tell him.  

And ladies, in particular, if I've learned nothing else from my own husband, it's that when talking to our husbands, we need to be clear and direct.  Beating around the bush doesn't work.  In my experience, as a couples counselor, wives often think they told their husbands something or explained something, but in reality, that's not how it was interpreted by their husband.  They didn't realize what their wives were actually telling them or what they were supposed to do with the information.

Here's a very simplistic example:
Wife: My friend was talking about this amazing new Italian restauant at work today.  It sounded really yummy.  Maybe we should try it.
Husband: Yeah, cool, okay.  Good idea.
Wife (20 minutes later, purse in hand): Okay, are you ready to go?
Husband: Uh, go where?  I'm watching the game (playing this video game, listening to this podcast, etc.)
Wife: Out to dinner.  I thought we were going to try that new place I mentioned.
Husband:  Oh, you meant tonight?

You see where this is going, right?  Be direct.  Tell your partner exactly what you mean, want, or need.
"I heard about this new Italian restaurant.  I'd like to go to dinner there tonight.  I'll be ready in 20 minutes."

Not the best example, but simple enough.

Explain why
Now that you've overshared what you mean, want, or need, it's helpful to explain why.  This helps your partner better understand you, your feelings and your needs.  
And husband, I know you have feelings too, even if you don't want to admit it out loud.  But here's your chance to give your partner a hint about how you're feeling.

The why is important because it gets at the heart of things and that's often why there's a fight, hurt feelings, or disappointment.  And these things build up into resentment, which is even harder to fix later.  If you practice oversharing now, when these things first start to happen, you won't have to build up years of disappointment and resentment.  

By explaining the why, your partner hears what's truly going on for you and where the frustration may come from.  You can even use "I" Statements to explain the why.
For example:
I feel taken advantage of when you assume that I'll wash the dishes and take out the trash because it makes me feel like I am doing everything around the house and we aren't sharing the responsibilities.

Maybe your partner didn't realize how their actions were making you feel, but once you explain why you mean, want, or need what you've told them, then their response wil be different.

If you'd like to see previous blog posts on Fair Fighting Rules in Marriage, Couples Communication, Self-Esteem, or Anxiety, please click here.

If you'd like more direct and personal help with improving communication in your relationship, or you're already to the resentment stage, please visit my website and schedule a free 15 minute consultation - www.brittaniedmillslmft.com.

I provide online couples counseling throughout California and Florida.


Website - www.brittaniedmilslmft.com

Email - bdmills@brittaniedmillslmft.com

Phone - (925) 335-6122


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Fair Fighting Rules for Couples - Wrap Up

  We've spent the last 10 weeks discussing the Fair Fighting Rules for Couples.  Let's summarize. Rule #1 -   Before your begin, ask yourself why you feel upset. Don't go into an arguement or discussion without knowing why you're upset, otherwise the discussion won't be productive. You need to be able to explain your feelings and how the situation has hurt you. And you need to stay focused on the issue at hand. If you'd like to read the full post for Rule #1, click here : Rule #2 -  Express your feelings with words and take responsibility for them; own and express your feelings, respectfully. It's important to use words to share your feelings. You need to describe how the situation makes you feel and why. Use "I" statements instead of blaming your partner. For example, "It scares me when you don't call when you're coming home late, because I get worried that something bad has happenedd to you." This is owning your own fee

Fair Fighting Rules for Couples - Rule #1

As a Couple's Counselor, I've been asked to help couples learn to fight fairly.  Because, hey, all couples disagree and fight, to some extent or another.  So, I wanted to share some tips on how to have fair and productive fights with your husband or wife.  Wouldn't you rather have a productive fight, instead of one where you both end up hurting each other? So I'm going to provide a 10 part blog series, addressing some common Rules for Fair Fighting. Rule #1 -  Before your begin, ask yourself why you feel upset. Are you truly angry because your partner left their dishes on the kitchen counter, dirty socks on the bedroom floor, or trash overflowing...again?  Those probably aren't the real reason you're upset, frustrated or angry. Those are just the icing on the cake. Those are just signs of a deeper problem. Or are you really upset because you feel like you’re doing an uneven share of the housework, and this is just one more piece of evidence?  Before you lash

Fair Fighting Rules for Couples - Rule #5

  As a Couple's Counselor, I've been asked to help couples learn to fight fairly.  Because, hey, all couples disagree and fight, to some extent or another.  So, I wanted to share some tips on how to have fair and productive fights with your husband or wife.  Wouldn't you rather have a productive fight, instead of one where you both end up hurting each other? So I'm providing a 10 part blog series, addressing some common Rules for Fair Fighting. During the first week I shared Rule #1 -   Before your begin, ask yourself why you feel upset. To read that post, click here: https://brittaniedmillsmft.blogspot.com/2021/10/fair-fighting-rules-for-couples-rule-1.html During the second week, I shared Rule #2 -  Express your feelings with words and take responsibility for them; own and express your feelings, respectfully. To read that post, click here: https://brittaniedmillsmft.blogspot.com/2021/10/fair-fighting-rules-for-couples-rule-2.html During the third week, I shared Rule