Rationally, we all know that our partner is incapable of reading our minds and anticipating our needs. And yet, holding fast to this expectation is one of the most common blunders that we see in couples counseling.
How can your partner know that you need more physical affection, or that you are bothered by the way she loads the dishwasher, if you never tell him/her? And what repercussions does this have on the relationship?
Here are some simple tips to improve communication and avoid this trap:
- If something bothers you, speak up! While few people enjoy confrontation, getting into the practice of airing your concerns in the moment will prevent both the continuation of the offense and residual resentment that builds over time.
- If you are looking for support, let your partner know how they can provide that. Every person and situation is unique; sometimes you may need to talk, while other times you just need to be held. Letting your partner know exactly what you need in the moment will ensure that your needs are being met.
- Catch yourself in the act. If you find yourself feeling frustrated with your partner, ask yourself if you have done all that you can to express your needs and concerns. The more that you can recognize these mind-reading tendencies, the sooner you will be able to resolve them.
To learn more about improving communication with your partner, reach out to one of our couples counselors by clicking below:
Written by Joanna Aslanian, LPC, ATR-P