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Move from nagging to connection

“He never helps me with the household chores.” “It is always me who has to start the conversation!” Yes, as a relationship coach I hear these sort of statements all the time from my clients.

Let me stop you right there: are you nagging and complaining and are frustrated that you don’t see the desired changes in your partner?

Well, we often wrongly assume that our partner has the same thoughts and assumptions as us — but how realistic is this? Loving somebody also means being open and vulnerable with your feelings, thoughts and wishes.

Don’t expect your partner to be a mind reader —be specific.

Statements such as “please be more respectful” or “please be more considerate” or “you don’t even care” leave a lot of room for interpretation. Maybe you have a clear picture in your head of how you want your loved one to act, but does your partner have the same picture listening to you? Probably not!

This difference in interpretation of what it means to e.g. be “considerate” can cause a lot of frustration. You might be frustrated because your partner doesn’t seem to make an effort. Simultaneously, your partner might make an effort to be more considerate — but on their terms — and you don’t even notice and appreciate it.

Give detailed examples of moments when you felt happy, connected or loved. Be specific when highlighting what you appreciate and value about your partner’s behaviour, instead of complaining in vague terms.

Let me be really clear: it is not your partner’s responsibility to fulfil all of your needs, desires and wishes! Yet, at least your partner should understand what you are longing for and not have to guess around and be met with more complaints.

Instead of vague complaints, remind your partner of specific moments that you cherish

Do a little check-in with yourself:

When do you feel connected, supported and loved by your partner? Really picture the situation and your partner’s behaviour.

Let me give you some examples of being clear and specific:

— I love it when you gently kiss me on the forehead. That makes me feel really safe.

— Dancing with you to xy singer helps me forget about everything else. Let’s do it more often.

— I really appreciate that you asked for my opinion before buying xy item.

— Thanks for having my back and helping your mum understand that my xy project is proper work and not just a hobby. This meant a lot to me.

It should become tangible for your partner what you are longing for and which moments mean a lot to you. Try to refer back to positive examples and ask your partner to continue or repeat the same behaviour. Your partner being reminded about moments that you cherish and feeling appreciated is much more effective than you nagging. #relationships #empathy #connection #clearcommunication #growtogether #beopen #vulnerabilityisstrength

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