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October 18, 2023

Effective Communication

A source of conflict in many relationships during the process of growing a family is the lack of clearly defined roles and miscommunicated expectations. This can also happen during times of stress, such as loosing a loved one, changing careers, moving, planning a wedding, etc. See below for some tips on how to communicate more effectively.

  • Clearly ask for what you need.

As much as we hope our partners know us well, our needs are constantly changing. Sometime we even surprise ourselves with what we hope for in a given situation. If we sometimes aren’t sure what we need, how can we expect our partners to know? Clearly communicating what you need will give them the opportunity to meet that need (or find a compromise if they are unable to do it exactly how you’ve asked them to).

  • Let them do it their way (as long as it’s safe)

Once you’ve let them know what you need, let them complete it however works best for them. It will likely be different than how you would do it and that’s ok (if it is something you want done in a specific way, you may have to do it and ask them to take a different task off of your plate).

You may have seen the videos on social media of dad vs. mom getting the kids ready. The result is vastly different and the yet the task is still complete, the children are ready. When we correct each other frequently, it leads to contempt. Partners may start to think “I am not helping because even when I do you take over anyway.” If you are struggling to let your partner help, it may be time to process where that is coming from for you.

  • Frequent check-ins

In times of change, we don’t always have a lot of quality time to connect with our partner. When you have a moment of time, asking each other “how are you doing?” (and genuinely seeking the answer) can lead to a short, or long, conversation that gives you insight into their world. It may not be something you can fix at the moment, but that small connection can help make you feel closer to your partner in times of stress.

  • Be gentle with each other

In times of change, we are often both learning new things. Becoming parents isn’t always as natural as we would hope. In times of stress, we aren’t always sleeping well or thinking clearly. If you are feeling hurt, let your partner know, but also leave space to revisit the conversation when emotions aren’t running quite as rampant.

Communication seems like a skill we learned when we were children, right? While we may know how to hold a conversation, we may not be as proficient at communicating effectively. This can cause a lot of conflict in a relationship, reach out if you find yourself being frequently misunderstood. Let’s work on it together!