How To Have Difficult Conversations With Your Partner: 13 Tips
Wondering how to have a tough conversation with your partner? Then you are in the right place.
When you are in a relationship, it is inevitable that you must bring up something that you do not want to discuss.
Maybe you and your partner need to talk more about helping around the house, or possibly you need to come to an agreement about money or kids.
Don’t just sweep it under the rug, whatever that’s. This only creates anger and doesn’t help you solve the problem.
Find time to sit down and discuss it and remember that the more you communicate, the easier it is going to be.
How to Have Tough Conversations With Your Partner
1. Avoiding difficult discussions can make matters worse.
You may believe that all you are doing is trying to keep the peace.
But if you want your relationship to be truly healthy and harmonious, you must be prepared for the problems that arise.
While it is fine to wait until the time is right to sit down and talk with your partner, do not wait too long – ideally do it within a few days of spotting a problem.
2. Stay focused during the discussion.
Don’t try to fix anything in your relationship that went wrong. Instead, consider what irritates you the most. How do you feel and why do you think that’s?
That’s what you should focus your efforts on. Everything else can wait until tomorrow.
Also consider the underlying issues behind the dispute. On the surface, you may be irritated that your partner eats fast food several times a week, but maybe you are concerned about his health.
Also consider the outcome of the conversation you want.
Don’t expect other people to abruptly start saving every penny they earn if you get angry that they’re spending money more recklessly than you are.
However, it is natural to ask him to work together on creating a household budget that the two of you can live with.
3. Avoid scheduling meetings when you’re anxious or busy.
If you are in a rush, busy, stressed, or tired, you will have a hard time staying calm during a difficult conversation. After all, with so much going on, it is hard to just talk.
Wait until you can both sit still and really focus on one another to be sure you’re both in the best moods possible.
When you need to talk, going someplace, like a park or cafe, can help, particularly if you have trouble getting to the subject beforehand.
A change of environment can help you break out of some of the thinking habits you developed at home.
4. Make the conversation productive.
If you can achieve that, your partner will feel more involved in the discussion and not as if you are just cursing them.
Remember that you need to discuss this because you and your partner love one another and it is something you both need to work on as a couple.
5. Try to express yourself in your own words.
If you start by listing all the mistakes your partner has made, she or he will likely shut down and become defensive.
Instead, focus on why this is so important to you.
6. How you say something is just as important as what you say.
Try not to scream or cry while talking and avoid sarcasm at all costs. Remember that your tone of voice can be a big trigger for somebody’s emotions, so stay calm and focus on the purpose of the conversation.
These are people you care about and it is vital that you talk to them in a polite and thoughtful way, even if you do not agree.
Also avoid tense body language such as crossing your arms, sighing heavily when your partner is talking, rolling your eyes, or avoiding eye contact (1).
7. Remember that you can only work on one problem at a time.
When you are having an awkward discussion, it is simple to bring up all the other things that went wrong in your relationship. However, the most significant thing is to focus on only one task at a time.
Otherwise, you can both get overwhelmed and begin a fight rather than working together to find a solution.
8. Don’t just sit still and wait for your time to speak.
Good communication is all about give and take, so pay attention to what your partner has to say.
Don’t prepare your response before your partner has had an opportunity to speak fully; present when he speaks.
Take a few moments to assimilate what you hear before speaking again.
Relationship experts suggest paraphrasing what you hear from other people. This may seem odd at first, but it can help you be sure you really understand what you are hearing.
9. Be willing to accept responsibility for your mistakes.
No one is ideal, and if you are trying to work things out with your partner, it is vital to understand how your words or actions have affected them in the past.
This may include recognizing when your emotions get in the way of a good discussion. It can even mean apologizing if you have done something to cause someone pain.
10. Take deep breaths to maintain balance and rest as needed.
If you get irritated and begin raising your voice, the problem will virtually absolutely get worse. It might even escalate into a full-blown discord, which is the last thing you want.
If, on the other hand, you start to feel frustrated, take a few deep breaths and wait to speak until you feel like you are in control again. You can even ask for a 10-15 minute break if necessary.
Think about how you might deal with things differently when you come back to yourself after a break.
11. Figure out where your emotions clash.
Whatever the case may be, likelihood is that you and your partner share the same basic goals (2). If you can focus on them during the discussion, collaboration will be much easier.
Not only that, but focusing on what you agree with, not what you do not, can help relieve tension and discomfort.
12. Discuss together how to find a solution.
You may have an idea of what you want to do before the discussion even starts, but it is also important to be flexible and listen to what your partner has to say.
If necessary, jot down some suggestions and come back when you both have time to consider them.
Make sure you are on the same page with regards to strategy and what you both want to accomplish at the end of the day.
13. Getting help when you need it is appropriate.
Resolving conflicts together can be difficult for two people, particularly if their communication styles differ or if they never learned effective conflict resolution skills.
See a couples therapist who can help you work through tough discussions.
He will also help you learn new ways to communicate with one another so you can have more productive discussions in the future.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article on how to have tough conversations with your partner. I actually hope that its content has been of good help to you.