Oftentimes couples get into heated fights assuming they know what their partner needs. Just because you have been in a long-term relationship, and you know your significant other very well…you don’t know them better than they know themselves!
“I know exactly what you’re thinking.” A client said in my office to her husband. Even if she was correct, by trying to read your spouse’s mind, doesn’t allow them the opportunity to express themselves, which is critically important in relationships. Allowing your partner to share their thoughts and feelings openly is a gift you give them, especially when you are listening intently.
Back to the days of ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’ by John Grey, we learned that men like to fix things and women need to be heard and validated. So what can a man do when he has the knee-jerk response to offer suggestions and advice after listening to his wife express complaints, fear, or stress of any kind? He can ask, “HOW CAN I HELP?” This simple question conveys the message that he genuinely wants to help and many women will appreciate this question. Then the floor is hers. Some women will give a specific answer such as, “ I just want you to help drive the kids to their activities.” But many women will say, “I just want you to listen.” Whatever the response is, if a partner can truly hear the message and is willing to do their best to meet the request, the relationship benefits.
So, let me ask you, HOW CAN I HELP? I’ve been writing this column for…hmm…a long time…and I want to gear my articles to your specific needs and requests. If you have a particular question or topic you would like me to address, please email my confidential email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be happy to bring you information on any relationship question or issue you may have (also feel free to choose from one of the topics listed below). You are also welcome to call my office and leave a message about any question or topic you would like to learn more about. And remember, simply ask your partner, “HOW CAN I HELP?”
Some ideas you may want to learn more about…
- Recovering from infidelity
- Healthy communication
- What to do if your spouse threatens divorce
- When kids don’t listen
- Gift of acceptance in relationships
- Improving your relationship connection
- What to do if newly single
- How grief impacts marriage
- Mid-life crises in marriage