The Relationship Paradigm
has 6 elements
In a relationship there are also three players; You, Me and Us
We can never not communicate.
Even when we are saying nothing there is still communication. Communication is much more than words, silence is communication, a look is communication, the lack of a look or looking away is communication.
The meaning of any communication is the message that is received.
We may think we are saying something very clearly, but what is critical is what the other person is actually hearing or receiving.
Communication is about being able to express your feelings to each other, subtly or directly, without fear of being judged. It’s knowing that your partner will listen to you and, even if they don’t agree, will understand.
It is also about being able to talk through differences of opinion, knowing you may not be able to agree, but that the difference will be accepted and will not pollute the rest of your relationship.
Feeling listened to, fully heard and understood is key to good communication in a relationship.
Feeling Understood - Exercise :
How well do you listen to your partner?
Here’s something you might want to try when your partner is talking, maybe sharing their day, talking about something that’s bothering them, or wanting to discuss something important with you:
Stop what you are doing, put any electronic devices down, switch off sound notifications, and place it out of sight
Give them your full attention, concentrate on what they are saying rather than thinking about what you are going to say in response to what they’re saying
Show you are listening by gently holding eye contact, giving acknowledgement by nodding, saying yes, and recapping what they are saying to check you have heard them correctly
A gentle touch may be appropriate too
Try not to offer solutions or ‘fix’ their problem
If you practice really listening to each other you will feel more understood and you can quickly discover the enjoyment of talking about things together.
Connection is about big things and small things.
It’s about looks, touches, being in the same space, conversations, and even making love.
It’s about making sure there are times in every day where you are there for each other and fully present.
Life will always get in the way, but you have to find ways around any road blocks.
We all have habits and patterns of connecting in our relationships, some can make us feel really close, and others make us feel less connected.
Commitment involves you both being clear about what you want....
from life, for yourself, and from the relationship.
You both need to be heading in the same direction because if that commitment is not there the relationship will fade away.
A great relationship is the best thing on earth, but it is hard work and life gets in the way. Great relationships require time, effort and commitment.
Fun is fundamental and hugely important...
in keeping a relationship growing and glowing.
So often couples focus on earning money to buy things, focus their energy on bringing up a family, and they lose sight of what fun is.
Growth is essential for individuals and relationships.
A great relationship needs two fulfilled individuals and an ‘us’ that is also fulfilled. Growth is needed to allow both people to flourish and cope with the changes of life; getting older, changes in career, children leaving home, and changes triggered by outside circumstances.
A relationship cannot remain static or as it was when a couple first fall in love.
And it will look very different ten, twenty or thirty years later as people grow older and mature, changing their views and desires. A relationship is a living thing that needs to be nourished and taken care of, without growth a relationship stagnates and a couple will drift apart. Couples should be interdependent and not fused.
Trust is like a clear blue sky.
If trust is beginning to be doubted then it is as if big grey storm clouds appear and make it hard to see. Reality becomes a dark place difficult to escape from.
Rebuilding trust requires absolute clarity over the direction you are going in, total openness about what you are doing, and who you are talking to and seeing.
It means opening up your phones and emails to each other so that there is no scope for suspicion.