Prevent Marital Issues: 3 Steps
Jasbina Ahluwalia asks Dr. Lisa Bobby, a Board Certified Life Coach: Yes. I say that there really is no substitute for time and interaction with someone. I analogize it to an onion. Don’t be so fast to rush and want to know everything right away. Allow it to be a peeling back the layers of an onion as you get to know someone.
When getting to know someone slowly, the chances of projecting your fantasies on a person is less. It’s based more in the reality of who that person is as opposed to your fantasy of who that person is in your mind.
What are some positive relationship patterns that a couple can engage in to prevent marital concerns in the future?
Dr. Lisa Bobby
There are simple things that every couple can start doing today to make their relationship better.
Prevent Marital Issues: Listen
First is really listening to your partner. Today, ask your partner, “How are you?” Really listen to the answer.
Prevent Marital Issues: Empathic Listening
Then use a technique that we call empathic listening. It might sound a little weird to do at first. It’s basically reflecting back what you have heard the other person say.
It doesn’t have to be word for word. It doesn’t have to be exact mimicking. Just summarize what you heard that person say.
As soon as you do that, they are really going to feel heard by you. Then they’re going to want to open up more. They’re going to feel emotionally safer with you.
Prevent Marital Issues: Reflective Statements
They’re also going to feel like you really care. You can say, “Jasbina, I heard you talking about how you often feel like you encourage people to go into relationships slowly.”
Simple reflective statements like that can really go a long way.
Prevent Marital Issues: Validation
Another thing is to practice the lost art of validation.
You’re taking empathy one step further. Empathy means that you understand how someone else feels.
Validation is finding both implicit and explicit ways to say, “That makes sense. I understand why you would feel that way.”
Imagine how you feel validated by your friends when they say, “I would have felt the same way,” and you have that affirmation.
To be able to get that from your partner is like drinking water in a desert. Be careful to give as much validation as you can.
Prevent Marital Issues: Responsivness
The third key to having a really good relationship is responsiveness.
You are validating and communicating your understanding and your care.
Responsiveness means that you show your partner that you care about them by following through when your partner has asked you to do something.
“It makes it so much easier for me when you load the dishwasher at night because I don’t have to do it in the morning.”
You can say, “Yes, I understand how you feel. That makes sense to me.”
Prevent Marital Issues: Actions Speak Louder Than Words
You have to actually load the dishwasher. You have to show up and demonstrate to your partner that you are hearing them and understanding them through your actions.
At the end of the day, people show us who they are, not through their words but through what they do.
When we can demonstrate our love to our partners, that is ultimately what will create a wonderful relationship.
Do you have any advice on how to prevent marital issues when it comes to communication? We’d love to hear from you. Connect with us in the comments section below.
The above is an excerpt from Jasbina’s interview with Dr. Lisa Bobby
The entire interview transcript is at: Dr. Lisa Bobby Interview – Relationship Patterns (and How to Overcome Them)
Listen to the entire interview on: Intersections Match Talk Radio – Jasbina’s Lifestyle Show
Listen to the entire interview on Blog Talk Radio: NetIP Spotlight- Live Your Potential: Relationship Patterns (and How to Overcome Them) – Dr. Lisa Bobby
Listen to the entire interview on iTunes