If you are someone who is currently experiencing a lot of frustration in your relationship communication (but not limited to) such as:
- Constantly fighting over the smallest little things
- Fighting about same issues over and over again
- There’s a lot of nagging from your end and he just completely shuts down or withdraws
- There is a lack of trust, respect, connection while the tension and frustration escalates
- You just don’t feel like you are being heard or understood
If you have said YES to any of the above symptoms, you’ve have come to the right place. You see, communication is a skill set that we don’t often get taught and the reality is, we modeled how our parents communicated with each other.
If you have to think about how your parents communicated, how do you describe their communication style? Was there a lot of fluid and meaningful conversations? Or was there a lot of fighting involved? How did they respond to challenges? How did they communicate their needs? How did they deal with confrontation and rejection?
Let me guess, your style of communication is greatly influenced by either one of your parents, or both. In saying that, it doesn’t mean that things have to stay this way. I guess that’s why we’re here right?
As you can tell I’m greatly passionate about relationships because I truly believe that we all deserve to be loved, happy and have the best relationship possible. But I didn’t have a great relationship to start with. In fact, I grew up in a family where my dad was quite abusive to my mum. I grew up thinking that what relationship was supposed to be. My parents had sh*tty communication and I thought how they communicated was ‘normal’. I then attracted in my life my Ex, who was very much like my dad and spent 6 years being abused (both physically and emotionally). When I left that relationship, I promised myself that I would never settle for less than what I deserved. I started my journey of personal development and devoted my years into learning about how to attract and create an amazing relationship. I studied from the leading experts in the industry, spent thousands of dollars learning the best kept secrets and the skill sets required to have an amazing relationship. The investment I made has tremendously benefited me both on a personal level as well as my relationship over the years. My husband and I wouldn’t be where we are today without going through those journeys. And today I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to share with people how THEY too, can have the relationship you truly deserve.
So today I want to share with you 5 simple yet very powerful tips on communication, and specifically on how to get him to listen & open up without you having to nag
1. Create a safe space for him to open up
A lot of the time men shut down because they were conditioned to bottle up their feelings, to ‘toughen up’ or ‘man up’. Most men feel like if they open up, they might open themselves up for judgment and criticism, which can end up with hurt feelings and rejection.
Before you start any conversation, make sure that you come from a heart space. What I mean by that is a space of love, trust, compassion and acceptance. Think about it, when you sit down with your bestie and truly open up, do you feel safe sharing all your issues and problems with her? Do you feel a sense of trust, acceptance and compassion? Do you feel like she is going to be there for you to offer you support and advice? If your answer is YES, then this is the space you need to start.
It’s not a man vs. woman thing. It’s a human thing! We open up when we feel safe. When we can feel a sense of judgment or criticism, we shut down. For man, it’s probably unfamiliar for him to truly open up, but when he feels he can open up in a space of love, he’ll do it more. It does take time and practice and I guarantee you this IS the best gift you can give to your man – just a space of love, support, compassion trust and acceptance.
When you can do this for each other, your communication will improve tremendously. This is something I teach my clients – which is how to tap into heart space to connect with themselves and with each other.
2. Make the conversations as regular and as casual as possible
I remember vividly the moments when I mum or dad said “We need to have a talk”, it simply meant that they were going to have a big fight and I needed a place to hide and wait for the ‘storm’ to pass.
You see when men hear the phrase ‘We need to have a talk’, they already shut down, even before you start. Because just like me, they go into ‘hiding’ and prepare for the storm. Remember when you were young, how did you feel when your mum or dad called your name in a serious tone? You know straight away you were in trouble, right?
This is what men feel like, they feel like they become the ‘child’ being parented by their own wife/partner, not so much fun hey? And what normally happens when these conversations don’t go down well? Women takes the sex/intimacy card off the table. So often, men are truly afraid of these conversations. Doesn’t mean you ignore all the issues, sweep them under the carpet and pretend nothing ever happened.
There’s a way to go about it. Firstly, you need to have regular light hearted conversations. I found that when my clients have more regular chats about an issue in smaller piece/chunk, the issue easily gets resolved. The reason why conversations get heated quickly is because couples often suppress and bottle up until it becomes serious and chaotic, until one day everything just exploded.
So the key is have regular and casual conversations, don’t wait until things get serious. Also make sure you pick the right space and time. Having a serious conversation at the dinner table might ruin your appetite while having a serious conversation just before bedtime can ruin your mojo. Pick a time where you both agree to regularly meet, may be a coffee chat on Saturday or Sunday morning, in a space that is open and light (in terms of energy). You can also go for a walk and have these conversations, this means that you are not going to throw a fight or emotionally react in a way that you would regret.
3. Communicate your intention
In my program, I teach about the key differences between men and women, especially in communication. As women we don’t often just speak, we vent our issues, our emotions, fear, dramas… the whole lot. This is what makes men and women so different. Men often are more straight forward vs. women are more inferential. What this means is that women don’t just want men to fix their issues, they want to be sympathized with, agreed with, listened to, understood and supported. This is how we bond as women. Men don’t understand this term ‘vent’ and often they mistaken it as our way of asking for a solution. This is the lesson both my husband and I had to learn in our early days.
This is crucial to your success in your relationship communication. Communicate what you want!!! Men can’t read minds, period!!! He doesn’t know what you need if you don’t tell him.
Do you want a venting session? Or Do you want your husband to give you advice on what to do?
Majority of the time as women we just want some space to process information (for men, they do it internally). So make sure you communicate clearly what you need. Your partner just wants to make you happy, but he doesn’t know how if you don’t tell him. This is one thing you can do to make his life a little bit less complicated 😉
p.s. choose the right space and time to do so.
p.p.s. it’s a big difference between telling him what you want and nagging so just be really mindful
p.p.p.s Please be mindful that your husband is not an outlet for your emotions by default, just because he’s with you. Make sure you show some appreciation.
4. Show acknowledgement, appreciation and deep gratitude
I’ve touched little bit on this on the point above. It’s pretty straight forward, make sure you show acknowledgement, appreciation and deep gratitude when he listens and opens up. As previously mentioned, men are conditioned from a young age to bottle up and it may take some time for him to learn that it’s safe to open up. When he does (even just a little it to start with), make sure you show some gratitude – could be something along the line of “Thank you for trusting me enough to open up” or “I really appreciate you opening up today, it helps me better understand you” or “I love when you can share your feelings and issues with me, it does make me feel special, thank you for trusting me” etc. The more you do it, the more likely he’ll open up. Why? Because as human being, we all want to feel acknowledged and appreciated.
5. Have some fun
The thing that comes to relationship communication is that couples don’t regularly communicate, and when they do it’s heavy, serious and often leads to heated arguments or fighting. When you attach so many negative emotions into communication, there’s no surprise that couples often avoid them. Start having some fun in your communication. Talk about the things that are light hearted like hobbies, interests, opinions on a topic (for instance: How do you feel about unconditional love? What are your thoughts on boundaries? Where do you see us in 5 years? If money was no issue, what would we do, where would we travel? Etc.). These regular fun conversations are gateways for you both to re-connect again.
It is important that you put these tips into practice because actions are what will determine your relationship success, not just knowledge. If you would like some extra support with where you are, please make sure you reach out and connect with me. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or book in a free consultation with me to see if we are a good fit to work together.
Author, Speaker, Transformational Dating & Relationship Coach,
NLP Practitioner and Level 2 Meta Dynamics Consultant
Jane Nguyen empowers strong, independent & powerful women to create the best relationship of their lives. Her clients come from all walks of life, whether it’s about re-inventing themselves after a nasty relationship breakup, wanting to attract a more
conscious and loving man into their lives; or wanting to save their relationship from the brink of break up or divorce. Jane is the ‘go-to girl’ for people who want to experience transformational change in theirrelationships.
Jane comes from a background of a 6-year abusive relationship (both physically & emotionally). After leaving that relationship, Jane devoted many years of her life in the space of personal development to find out the key ingredients to create a successful relationship. Using her signature “Feminine Power” coaching method in her programs, workshops and retreats, Jane teaches women how to tap more into their Feminine essence and shine from the inside out, to attract a man and a relationship that allowsthemto be all thatthey can be.
Jane is an author of the book “Honeymoon Forever” which is available at 40 bookstores Australia wide including Dymocks, Collins, Booktopia etc. She is also a contributing author of 3 other inspiring books that arm people with the skills and knowledge to be the best version of themselves before theywalk into relationships.