Being the one on the receiving end of a conversation that starts with words like ‘We need to talk’ is tough.
Throughout marriage life, there will be times where you may feel the need to have “must-have” conversations with your partner. And perhaps, these are exactly the kind of conversations that you don’t want to talk about as it may make you both angry, defensive, sad, and hurt.
Many of us may think that some things are better left unspoken. We try to avoid certain topics because they make us uncomfortable, and we may still try avoid others as we know they make our spouse angry.
However, some of these tough conversations are perhaps essential things that we just have to talk about it. Once we get through the discomfort, our marriages will be better off in the long run and most importantly, you will the closeness.
First, things that you should consider before you plan to have that difficult ‘talk’ which is usually starts by saying: We need to talk or we should talk!
How to start: Not a good start if you say “can we talk? , “we have to talk” or the sad one we need to talk. Starting your conversation with such statements already acknowledges that the topic or the ‘talk’ is difficult, sensitive. Remember that you want to work together as a team to have a better understanding of your perspectives so be sensitive to your partner always and forever.
The intro: Think of an appropriate way to begin the conversation such as “I have been thinking about that…”, “Hey .. what do you think about …”, or, you can try “I’d like to talk about …”, and even “Listen, I was wondering or I want to have a good understanding of your point of view about …” or even, “ hey.. how about if we ..?
Just keep it simple, subtle and obvious, to the point. You should know the patterns or the way your partner likes you to talk so why not use that trick? Learn your partners love language to go handle the situation smoothly.
Your expectations: It matters a lot and if you expect the conversation to go badly, then trust me it will. And, if you think that having a big talk will make the situation worse and do it anyway then it probably will. So, you need to define your expectations of the conversation and to think in positive terms only if you want to make things work in your relationship and if you don’t, nothing you will say would matter.
You know why ‘the talk’: If the talk is going to be a difficult or a stressful one or if you want to clear up a misunderstanding, or if you need to confront your spouse about a suspected lie or hurtful behaviour than just do it patiently and gently. Just remember that you screwed up this and decided to drop a bombshell on your partner so the least you can do is behave nicely.
Timing and location: This thing matters the most and since you are living with the person you are involved with you know when will be the appropriate time to talk. If the talk is depressing, don’t ruin the happy moment for your partner’s life.
Manipulation: Never manipulate your spouse like inviting your spouse out to the movies or somewhere he/she likes to hang out when you really plan on having “the talk”. There is no need to be manipulative if you really care for your partner.
Now, here are some of the ‘talks’ by which couple get uncomfortable:
b. Sex: If you want to have a mutually successful relationship, you have to indulge in topics like monogamy, frequency of sex, what you like in bed, and also what you don’t like, etc. It is obvious that it may feel weird and uncomfortable to the one who is a shy person, but in the long run you’ll be glad that one of the partners brought it up.
c. Family Conflicts: A serious conversation to have specially if it’s really in-your-face and dramatic. It’s never fun to bring up family conflict because it gets ugly, and it brings distance between the couples. At this point, couples need to understand each other so that they can work through difficult situations.
d. Goals for future: You should think about what is most important to you, your relationship, or your career. Chatting about the future sometimes doesn’t go well, specially when it doesn’t include your partner and goals you’re supposed to reach together, is an important convo to have. Your long-term hopes & dreams should involve your partner so that you can have shared goals as a couple. The topic itself is so big that initially, it will feel awkward, and maybe even silly to discuss but it is a fact that sharing such things with your partner, and supporting each other while you both achieve your goals, truly strengthen your bond.
e. Money & Financial: Sooner or later, every couple is going to have this conversation. Money is a well-known thing that can cause stress in relationships, probably because, it resolves most of your problems when you have it and creates conflict when you don’t. Many feel insecure about their financial situation, and talking about this with your partner would force you to deal with an actual serious situation, so take it as calmly as you can.
f. Jealousy: It has been observed that in any relationship, there’s a risk of jealousy as it is a part of human nature to feel possessive to some extent, and it’s equally natural to sometimes feel threatened. However, in a marriage, nearly anything that occupies time and attention can cause jealousy, from kids to a job, or from like and dislikes or spending time with friends and family. Since jealousy is known to be a powerful emotion, it can lead to all kinds of conflict, arguments, and trust issues. If you’re feeling jealous, speak to your partner, and do your best to remain calm when you discuss it.
g. Kids: There are many couples who don’t want children or certainly there are many situations where one partner is not ready to have kids which drive the other partner crazy. And, when you already have kids, not everyone, every time agrees on how to raise kids. It’s essential to talk about kids before getting married only to avoid problems in the future. And, when you have kids, never try to keep them away from your awkward or uncomfortable talks because it doesn’t give them a right influence and you care about them so much.
If you are thinking about having kids, sit down with your partner and talk about your own individual experiences as children, with your parents, and the kind of parents you hope or want to be. It is a proven fact that the closer you can get to agreeing on parental issues and responsibilities, the less likely you are to run into disagreements later.
h. Cheating: Before anything happens, ask your partner that what they consider cheating because there’s a possibility that they only consider physical interaction cheating. A lot of couples even don’t let their partners talk to their friends of the opposite sex perhaps because of past history and jealousy. So, this is a sensitive issue and should handles sensitively not impulsively.
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