Couple’s Communication Without Confrontation!

When quality, unrestricted, and thorough couple’s communication occurs it can literally transform a relationship. Concerns become known and answers are identified. Problems are discussed and solutions are determined. Desires are expressed and plans are created. Through quality communication, a relationship can improve significantly almost immediately. When couple’s communication is poor problems can snowball into the size of the iceberg that sank the Titanic! The method I am about to present to you can melt the ice that is causing your relationship to sink.

Understanding the Process

The surest way to have productive, non-confrontational communication with your partner is to do it in writing. This might sound strange or cumbersome at first, but as you read further you might come to see its value and potential.

The written word is the purest form of communication, because you are allowed to select your words as carefully as you wish without being rushed or influenced by the presence of the recipient. Then, when the recipient receives it, they are required to read and consider every word to get the meaning. This requires their full attention and patience. The result is a much purer transfer of thoughts with no opportunity to strike back immediately without thinking. This is the magic of this couple’s communication method.

Here is the process for this non-confrontational couple’s communication method. Start by writing down all your thoughts, concerns, and desires on paper. In other words, do an “appraisal” of your partner and relationship. Your partner should do the same. It is important that you do this activity in separate rooms or locations. This step may take a several hours or days. The next step is to exchange them, BUT read them in separate rooms or locations as well. The reasons for separation will become clear to you in the end. This next part is crucial. You must agree NOT to get back together to discuss them until any anger has dissipated, and your minds have returned to a clear and relaxed state. This may take several hours, days, or even a week or more. In addition, you must agree not to consume any alcohol or drugs during any part of the couple’s communication process. Next we’ll get into further detail on how to do your appraisal.

Appraising Your Partner & Relationship

In order for your couple’s communication appraisal to be complete, you need to start by making a list of all the possible areas that you want to consider. You might create this list with your partner, but do not have any discussions. Just create the list. Categories might include attitude, social, money, appearance, disagreements, sex, responsibilities, and dreams.

You might start the evaluation process by rating each category using words like excellent, good, or needs improvement. Follow this by adding comments to clarify your rating, offer ways to improve, or convey compliments. Also, be sure to include your personal needs, desires, and dreams in the appraisal or on a separate piece of paper.

Here are some thoughts to consider as you do the appraisal. The purpose of this couple’s communication process is twofold: To give you the opportunity to evaluate the health your relationship and to provide your partner with feedback that they can use to improve themselves and your relationship. The goal is to do an appraisal that is honest, compassionate, and free of any self-serving behavior. This is the key to true couple’s communication.

Examining Each Others Appraisal

Here are some thoughts to consider before you go into your private session to examine the appraisal your partner completed on you.

First, get yourself into a mindset of looking at this activity as an extraordinary opportunity to gain self-awareness. This will require courage, the courage to face criticism directly, and evaluate it objectively without becoming defensive.

Woman readingFirst, get yourself into a mindset of looking at this activity as an extraordinary opportunity to gain self-awareness. This will require courage, the courage to face criticism directly, and evaluate it objectively without becoming defensive.

Keep in mind that what is written about you is your partner’s true feelings. Therefore, they are not arguable. You may be able to challenge some of the facts, but you cannot challenge their feelings because they are their actual perceptions.

Man readingYour focus should be on gaining understanding of their evaluation of you, and how they came to those conclusions. This will require that you put yourself in their place. Becoming defensive is not productive for your own benefit or that of the relationship.

The information contained in the appraisal holds the key to unlocking the treasure chest of gifts that your partner is capable of giving to the one they love. Do not under estimate is value!

Meeting for Enlightenment & Resolution

The last step in the couple’s communication process is to meet with your partner to discuss your appraisals. As mentioned before, it is imperative that you do not have this meeting until both partners are calm and clear-headed. Again, no alcohol or drugs are allowed during any part of the couple’s communication process.

The meeting that you will have with your partner is the most significant part of this entire process. In fact, it could produce some of the most profound communication of your entire relationship. Or even, perhaps, any relationship you have ever had!

The attitude that you take into this meeting needs to be consistent with your expectations of what you want to get out of it. In other words, if you want your partner to be open to what you put in their appraisal, you need to be open as well. If you want them to show a willingness to change, you must be willing too. If you want them to have an interest in your dreams, you must present your interest in theirs. If you want them to be responsive to your needs, you must be ready to do the same.

As you discover solutions, create plans, and identify objectives write them down as goals. Use the three (3) basic steps of goal setting, which is defining what we want to accomplish, committing to a date to have it done, and determining the steps needed to get there. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to make some real satisfying change in your self, your partner, and your relationship.

As a review, here are the three (3) steps of the couple’s communication process.

  1. Appraise your partner and relationship (privately).
  2. Examine each other’s appraisal (privately).
  3. Meet for enlightenment and resolution (together).

If you’re not sure whether your partner will participate in this couple’s communication process, doing it yourself will help you with whatever issue you are facing and may encourage them to join in later. If you wanted to further inspire your partner, you could give them the completed appraisal that you did on them along with your list of needs, desires, and dreams. This would definitely spark their interest!

You can go about completing this couple’s communication process in many ways. One of the best is to get creative and turn it into a private retreat-like activity. You might even consider splitting the three (3) steps into separate weekends and/or evenings. You might also setup a reward to give yourselves at the end like a special dinner out or an overnight stay at a nice hotel.

If you really want to make it a special event, conduct the activity during a vacation or weekend getaway at a resort! Even going to a hotel near your home would be good. Go through the process during the first 1-3 days and then enjoy yourselves the rest of the time. Getting out of your normal routine and environment might create the conditions you need for a breakthrough!

That’s it. Go try it!

This article is based on my book entitled, ”The Couple’s Review.” This book includes a comprehensive, easy-to-use appraisal and other instruments that will guide you through the entire process.

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