Conflict in a relationship is inevitable, misunderstandings in a relationship cannot be avoided and it can be effectively handled. Without proper communication, we feel isolated and misunderstood and let the negative emotions lead to arguments and unhappiness.
By developing your communication skills, you and your partner will be able to establish a loving, respectful relationship. With effective communication, you can create a positive outcome and make your partner really hear you.
“People do not experience love in the same way, and if you’re not speaking your partner’s ‘love language’, that can result in great unhappiness.” — Kim Olver
Is your relationship getting you down? Here are five tips on how to communicate unhappiness in a relationship so that true change can come about.
Give It Some Thought
Before you launch into telling your partner about being unhappy – make sure you know what you’re going to communicate.
This may sound obvious, but as an online sex coach, I’ve noticed that this can often be forgotten in the heat of the moment.
You get annoyed with your partner because they didn’t take out the rubbish and all of a sudden you’ve launched into a full-on fight, letting your partner know just how unhappy you are and how much it’s their fault.
At the moment, it feels good to get it off your chest, but later on, you realize you hurt your partner and the fight didn’t really lead anywhere. Things didn’t get better and you didn’t get to the root of your unhappiness.
Putting some thought into it means working out:
a) what’s making you unhappy
b) what you think you want instead
c) how you believe you can both get there.
By communicating these three things you’ll eliminate the risk of conflict, and increase the chances of a positive and fruitful conversation that leads to a happier, healthier relationship.
Think of The ‘How’
How to communicate unhappiness in a relationship, so you’re actually heard, also has to do with how you say things. Oftentimes we think so much about what we want things to look like, that there’s little time or energy left to consider how to talk about the changes we desire.
This is problematic – because our partner doesn’t only hear the content of our words – they hear the way we say them and which words we choose. In fact, our body language says a lot to our partner which is why it’s important to learn how to improve your non-verbal communication in your relationship, too.
If your partner reads your physical expression as aggressive, they’re more likely to feel attacked, making them adopt a defensive stance – and effectively ruling out any room for real improvement.
In order for your partner to hear you, you need to take how you say things into account, both with your words and your body language.
This involves accepting part of the blame – not because you should, but because it’s true.
When you’re unhappy in your relationship, it’s easy to blame it on your partner. You believe they’re the sole reason things aren’t great in a certain area of your relationship.
But the fact of the matter is – unhappiness in a relationship is often the cause of two people (providing the issue isn’t about abuse, of course. This is never the responsibility of the partner being abused).
How to accept responsibility for your relationship and impart it to your loved one can happen in many ways. It might look like saying:
● “I understand I’m difficult to approach when I’m in a bad mood, and that this causes you
to withdraw, even if what I truly want is closeness.”
● “I feel upset when you don’t want sex and because I was never taught how to deal with
sadness, I turn to anger instead and lash out at you. I’m sorry.”