Relationship Counselling – A Quick Tip

“You always take your Mum’s side!”. “You love that bike more than you love me!”. There is only one way that this is going; full-on argument. Both sides feeling unheard, angry and frustrated.

Underneath these words there is a cry; “I need you to show you value my opinion”. “I need you to show you love me still”. There is a vulnerability here. Unmet needs have led to insecurity and fear for the future of the relationship. Relationship counselling can help address these deeper heartaches but for now, let’s look at two ways we can at least speak to each other better to reduce the heat.

Firstly, (and this is a golden rule), try not to start a sentence with “You”. It often sounds like an accusation (as it often is!) and immediately puts your partner on the defensive and liable to attack back. Instead, start with “I”. This assumes you are taking responsibility for how you are feeling and says how you see the behaviour rather than saying it is a fact.

Secondly, avoid exaggeration. It may be intended to emphasise how hurt and angry you feel but it merely undermines your point. Does she really ALWAYS take her Mother’s side? Are there times when she didn’t? Does he really love the bike more than you or is it that he spends longer on it than you would like?

So, considering this, how would our warring couple sound now? Perhaps, “I feel unvalued when you take your Mum’s side on this” and “I feel lonely when you are out on your bike all evening”.

It’s not easy to phrase things so calmly when in the heat of “battle” but if you try you might find you get more of what you want by shouting less.

If you’d like to find out more about relationship counselling. Please contact me.

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