Arguments are common but what’s important is that couples fight healthy – Have you felt like each time you try to have a conversation it becomes an argument?  Funny thing about anger…it will play with the mind and turn an innocent conversation into a combat zone.

Harville Hendrix in his book “Getting the Love You Want”, developed a healthy way to build communication in your relationship. Follow these 8 steps to build healthy communication with your partner. 

1. Either partner has a right to ask for a dialogue at any time. But, the receiving partner has a right to decline the request but postpone the dialogue but must reschedule it for a later date.

2. During the dialogue with your partner, you want to: Name the frustrating behavior: for example, “it frustrates me when you came home late and didn’t call to let me know

3. Name the Feeling that come up for your around this behavior: for example: “I get angry and then I start feeling resentful.”

4, Name the childhood memory (if you can identify it) or theme the frustrating behavior reminds you of: for example: “my parents favored my sister and I felt like I didn’t matter and wasn’t considered.”

5. Describe the thoughts, perceptions, or story that gets activated by this: for example: “The story I tell myself is that I don’t really matter to you, I’m not important, and you don’t care..”

6. The receiver expresses EMPATHY for how their partner feels: for example: “I understand, and you must feel that I take you for granted.”

7. State your desired feeling: for example: “What I really want to feel with you is respected and that I am your priority.”

8. Make your request: This must be in positive, easily identifiable behavior terms: for example: “So next time if you are running late text or call me so I’m not worried and waiting for you.”

Try these 8 steps and practice developing healthy communication with your partner. If you’re still having difficulty communicating with your partner, CLICK HERE to learn more about our Building Communication Skills For Couples Group where you and other couples will learn proven techniques, strategies and various exercises so you can feel heard and have more productive conversations with your partner.

The Relationship Suite

We are a group of skilled therapists specializing in couples/marriage counseling. Since Covid started we have been working with couples providing Online Couples Counseling in New York, New York City including Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Long Island, South Hampton, East Hampton, Montauk. Schedule a complimentary consultation by clicking HERE.

Due to Covid we are also providing Virtual Couples Counseling in New Jersey, Hoboken, Jersey City, Princeton, Chatham, Morris, Westfield, Union, Bergen County, Colts Neck, Tenafly. Schedule a complimentary consultation by clicking HERE