Time for talking

1 December 2017

We all know that talking to your partner and being open about how you feel is important.

But it’s easy to let regular talking fall by the wayside — especially with the demands of a busy working life or when looking after children.

Why is talking every day important?

First, it allows you to talk about anything that might be bothering you. Having the space to go over anything that you might be finding difficult — either in the relationship or in life in general — means you’ll be able to express yourself and work together to address the problem.

Without doing this, things can accumulate and create tension. It can be tempting to simply try and sweep things under the carpet to keep the peace. But developing an ability to talk things over in a positive and productive manner (and without the conversation turning into an argument) means you’ll be able to adjust to the inevitable challenges that will come your way.

Communicating in this way is a skill that comes more naturally to some people than others, and it can be hard to start if you haven’t had much practice.

Talking regularly is also important because simply it’s also a great way of feeling close to one another. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to feel connected to your partner.

Talking together doesn’t have to mean going over really big stuff — sometimes it can just mean hanging around together and enjoying each other’s company. It can mean sharing a joke, talking about how the day has gone, or making plans for the weekend.

What’s important is that you’re spending time together, without interruptions, to be close, and simply enjoying being a couple.  

How do we create the opportunity to talk every day?

When you’ve got busy lives or stressful jobs, talking can feel like a bit of a luxury that you can always make time for later.

But the danger with this approach is that you simply never make time later — and you don’t address any damage done to your relationship in the meantime.

So, if you’ve fallen out of the habit of talking, the best solution tends to be to make new habits. If you can find a way to build chatting together into your day, then, before too long, it will begin to feel much more natural, something you do as a matter of course.

If you work near each other, you might like to take lunch together a couple of times a week. Or, if you’re always eating breakfast on the move, you might get up 15 minutes earlier so you can sit together and talk about what you’re up to that day. If you find you’re simply watching TV together after putting the kids to bed, you might like to take 30 minutes just to talk. You might like to take the time to chat before falling asleep – ‘pillow talk’ can be a great way of catching up.

How do I tell my partner I want to talk more?

In counselling, we often talk about ‘inviting’ someone to do something, instead of telling them. When you ‘invite’ someone to do something, you’re still giving them the autonomy to decide for themselves – and, as such, they’re less likely to react defensively or feel you’re having a go at them.

Try inviting your partner to talk about what’s happening — without telling them that things ‘need to change’. This is much more likely to produce a positive result, and not be interpreted as nagging. You may find that, once you start to make moves towards talking regularly again, it soon becomes second nature. Often, it’s the first step that’s the hardest.

What if we never talk?

If you feel like you simply never connect with each other and things have been this way for a while, you might need some outside help to get things kick-started again.

It’s in situations like this that counselling can be really helpful. Your counsellor will give you both the opportunity to express yourself and help you think about ways to reconnect. They can help you talk about how you got to this point in the first place and explore any issues that might have contributed.

Your counsellor won’t rush you into anything, tell you what to do or take sides. They’ll simply listen, and help to facilitate you and your partner having a productive and honest conversation.

If you’d like to try counselling, why not give our friendly appointments team a call on 01234 356350.

 

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