3 ways communication tests love and respect in a relationship, and how to improve it

When in a relationship we sometimes wonder if it's going as well as it should. The newness has warn off a bit and now we're feeling like it's settling. But we're not sure what it's settling into, and that the love and respect you were first shown still exists.

As we settle into a relationship, communication can start to get lazy. We don't work as hard to be interested in the other, and fail to pay attention to the changes we're each experiencing as we get older. 

Then months or years go by and we feel like we're less connected. Conversations are reduced to small talk and there seems to be this lack of interest in each other. The relationship has settled into a comfy existence. 

Here are three ways that communication can tell us if we're still respected and loved in a relationship, and yes, that it hasn't settled!

  1. Your partner allows you to finish what you want to say without interruption. Many times people will be so anxious to give their opinion or solve your problem that they cut you off when they've heard enough. This means that they're assuming they know what you're going to say. And assumptions can kill a relationship.
  2. They're interested in what you want to do and what your opinion is—always! If the other person gives you attention or shows interest when you withdraw from them, they're doing it out of fear—fear of loneliness, or fear of change. This means they've put the relationship on auto pilot and only have to pay attention when it experiences turbulence. 
  3. When amongst friends and family your partner involves you and includes you in conversations. If your partner engages with others and doesn't include you or acknowledge you, then they're focused on feeling like they're the important one in the room. This means your relationship has moved from a partnership, to a mine and yours arrangement. 

How can you change this behaviour so that you have love and respect in your relationship?

Communicate your needs and desires to your partner by opening up the discussion. This maybe a simple conversation to make your partner aware of what's going on. It can also mean that they're dealing with insecurity brought on by personal or professional challenges. Either way, opening up the conversation can help you remedy this. Here's a few tips to make that conversation more successful:

  1. Pick a time when there are very few distractions and in a positive mood.
  2. Get into the frame of mind to solve the problem that the both of you will work on.
  3. Start the conversation with "I noticed that...." or "Tell me..." That moves the conversation forward. 
  4. Stay away from starting the sentence with "why." This will put others on the defensive and feel as though you're accusing them, rather than trying to understand. 
  5. Be compassionate. This maybe a simple misunderstanding that's needs clarification. 

Having a healthy relationship does take work—and equal participation from all involved. Although if you feel that you're not valued in the relationship, then it's a good time to consider your choices. We shouldn't be in a relationship out of fear, but because we love and respect one another, and we do that by building connection through healthy communication. 

Thanks for reading my blog! Please leave a comment or share this with others who would find it useful. And by the way, if you haven't already, I'd love to keep in touch! So please subscribe and I'll be sure to send you some more valuable info a couple of times a month. Have a good one!

How can Success Coaching assist you with your goals?

Christine Hourd,  Associate Certified Coach and owner of The Success Model, works with clients to help them reach their goals more rapidly. By improving how they communicate with themselves and others they more easily remove the roadblocks that impede success in their personal and professional life. Book an appointment to discuss how success coaching can benefit you. 

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