If You Think It Say It

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Good communication is essential to keep a relationship happy. Unfortunately, not everyone is good at sharing their feelings. So I’d like to offer you a simple idea to keep your partner happy. If you think it, say it — good or bad. Just make sure you’re not being judgmental or mean.

One way is by complimenting your partner. It’s disappointing how many people feel like they don’t need to compliment their partner once they’re in a relationship. However, that is when your partner needs to feel assured that you’re still attracted to him or her. If you’re looking at your girl and think, “She looks hot in those shorts.” Make sure you tell her. Likewise ladies, if you’re looking at your man and thinking, “That shirt makes his eyes look really sexy.” Tell him that. We all need our egos stroked by our partner. It helps control unnecessary insecurities and builds emotional intimacy. It’s a simple way to keep your love alive.

Second, and perhaps the most important, is when something is bothering you. I know it’s easy to keep pushing bad feelings aside, but they don’t go away if you don’t work through them. They build up and create tension, your actions become passive aggressive, and your unexpressed frustrations will end up destroying your relationship. The ridiculous catch-22 is that people avoid sharing their negative feelings because they don’t want to upset their partner, but by holding them in you end up causing more heartache for both of you. Your partner can’t change any behavior that’s upsetting you if they don’t know what it is.

Many of my clients who come to me for breakup coaching don’t even know why their partner broke up with them. Ghosting now happens so often there is actually a term for it, and it’s not just short term relationships that end by one person just disappearing. That’s largely because people don’t like to share their feelings. But those hard conversations are actually the only way for you to find happiness.

If you don’t know how to begin, start by saying, “I’m not saying this to hurt you, I just need to share with you how I’m feeling.” Believe it or not, if you can allow yourself to be vulnerable your partner may actually surprise you. He or she may actually thank you for being so open and honest. Partners usually do know when something is bothering you. It’s a relief to find out what it is. When you love someone you do want them to be happy. You can help your partner make you happy by letting them know what you need.

Of course, I do need to clarify that criticism is never effective communication. When I say if you think it say it I don’t mean things that will hurt your partner’s feelings. Such as if she’s gained weight and you’re thinking she doesn’t look as sexy as she used to. If you start criticizing her for weight gain she may even gain more, because you damaged her self-esteem. Being judgmental is hurtful as well. If your guy has developed a spare tire telling him you think so will push him away. The best way to deal with someone’s weight gain is to invite them to do some fun active activities. The couple that plays together usually does stay together.

So I hope you now see how important it is to share your feelings with your partner. The more you do it the more natural it will become, so compliment your partner frequently. Hopefully your partner will start doing the same for you. The more you share your positive thoughts the easier it will be for you to have those difficult conversations when something starts to bother you. The sooner you do it the better you’ll feel.