Keeping open and honest communication flowing in your relationships is difficult, especially when one or both parties sometimes feels they have been hurt. Many wonder how they can fix communication in a relationship that has only experienced poor communication for so long. Whether you both have suffered from effects of porn or sex addiction, or just want to improve where your relationship is, maintaining and mending relationships requires deep trust developed through honest and open communication.
As you and your loved ones work together on creating a plan for how to communicate better, you will begin to have deeper trust. Open communication does not mean immediate better results but consistency will help you get where you want to be.
The following are a few ways to improve communication in a relationship.
1. Set Aside a Time to Check In
When you set aside a specific time to check in with your partner every day, it gives both of you the platform that you need to voice your thoughts, feelings, and concerns. By setting aside the same time each day, each partner feels valued and heard because they know they have a chance to vocalize their personal feelings.
2. Use “I Feel” Statements
When you use “I feel” statements, it helps you avoid putting blame on another person and helps them see your perspective. An “I feel” statement allows your partner to hear and validate your struggles. Your feelings are not facts, and thus they cannot be disputed. When you have the chance to voice your feelings and have those feelings be validated by yourself and your support system, it can be a freeing experience.
3. Be a Good Listener
Good communicators take turns speaking, and good communicators take turns listening. Relationship talk can be difficult, but when you take the time to listen to one another, you’ll often find that things get easier, and both parties feel a little more empathy and kindness toward one another. Often we jump to conclusions and end up fighting because we did not take the time to truly listen to one another. When we go into a conversation with our mind made up, judgement already in place, we leave no room for open communication and healing.
4. Avoid Defensive Talk
When you are on defense from the moment you enter a conversation, the outcome isn’t usually pretty. When you begin a discussion with the sole intent of defending yourself and your position (which is a completely natural thing to do), you leave no room for real conversation and empathy to grow. Instead of being defensive of your own position, focus on relationship building conversation that is understanding and that benefits the both of you.
5. See a Therapist or Counselor
Sometimes people dealing with addiction or other concerns benefit from having a third party intermediary moderate the conversation. A trained professional will be able to ask the right questions to get the difficult conversations started. In a safe environment with a little extra help, many couples find success in these therapy sessions.
6. Be Positive
Take a moment every single day to communicate your positive feelings about your partner to your partner. By taking a moment every day to praise your partner and share your positive and uplifting feelings with them, you create a loving and safe environment for growth and healing in your home. At a time where you feel like being negative may be the easiest option, try hard to be positive and hopeful.
Learning how to communicate better in your relationships will not happen overnight, but with practice and patience, you can have open communication in all of your relationships.
If you are facing more than the occasion disagreement and are facing growing silence and distance because of a porn or sex addiction you’ll want to consider additional relationship tips that help couples struggling with effects of sex addiction, or even therapy. As you and your spouse face the challenges together, remember that communication skills take consistent effort but there is always hope.
Ready to take the next step towards recovery from porn and improving communication in your relationship? Contact LifeStar Therapy to learn more and see how we can help you.