Note: This is the first of a two-part series. Click here for part two

Your relationship will not stay close and intimate without good communication. Most people think they communicate well, but good communication involves more than telling someone your thoughts, feelings and judgements. Good communication requires:

  1. Being an extremely good listener
  2. Hearing without arguing or defending
  3. Genuinely considering someone else’s feelings or preferences as equal to your own

Try this communication exercise, which will allow you to “interview” your spouse or intimate partner. If you give each other permission to just talk about what is upsetting you in the relationship—as well as what you’re pleased about—the two of you might be able to find a way to be closer, as well as to be able to resolve the conflicts or irritations between you. Here’s some ground rules: When your spouse is answering a question, you cannot interrupt, disagree or dismiss what s/he is saying. But you can ask questions, such as “Could you explain,” or “What would you like different?” Also let him or her answer the question thoroughly. Then it’s your turn. Ask your partner how s/he feels about you or your relationship regarding:

  • Romance
  • Friendship with each other, and with others
  • Fears or anxieties
  • How we communicate
  • Giving and receiving of affection/touch
  • Weight, fitness, diet and appearance
  • Meals/food
  • How we parent our kids
  • The use of alcohol or other substances
  • Our goals as a couple
  • Quality time spent together
  • Time spent on social media, entertainment or TV
  • Sex
  • Money or financial issues
  • Trust. What I need to trust you more
  • How we argue or handle differences
  • How anger is expressed
  • Requests I would like to ask of you
  • How we could be more connected with each other
  • I would feel more valued or loved if you would

This is the way the two of you can grow closer to each other—by talking about how you feel about your partner and about the relationship. Use this discussion as a beginning in creating a closer, more intimate relationship.

Tagged: communication   couple's communication exercise   how do I get my husband to communicate  

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