No one would have thought that my fiance and I would end up together. He was a party guy, used to having a string of women. I was a divorced mother of two, the epitome of stability and home. Most would have guessed that I would be another passing fancy. Yet as much as he struggled with our differences, he couldn’t stay away from me. I offered him something he had never had before. When you find someone you can truly communicate with, it’s hard to let that go. Here’s what I do. Let this work for you.
1. It’s all about timing. You’ve been aching to talk to him all day about something that’s on your mind. What’s a little while longer? I’ve learned to wait until the right moment to speak to him. I wait until I know we won’t be interrupted, when it’s calm and quiet to speak about anything important. He appreciates my patience. And I’m more likely to get the desired outcome for my efforts.
2. Think before you speak. Take time to consider the point you wish to get across, the result you hope for. I find our discussions are far more successful if I have thought out my points rather than acting rashly…which often means irrationally. Well-thought discussions win every time no matter who you are talking to.
3. Watch your words. It’s so easy to get over-emotional, especially with someone you feel strongly about, someone who stirs your emotions. That’s the biggest challenge. I tend to get very…passionate. (Because that sounds so much prettier than suggesting that I might overreact.) Still, I struggle to ensure that I don’t use inflamatory words, such as ‘always’ and ‘never.’ I steer clear of insults and mean words. This sounds obvious, but a discussion can quickly devolve into an argument when you get sloppy with your verbage.
4. Paste on a veneer of tranquility. When I once asked my fiance why he had stopped talking and sharing with me, he admitted it was because he was afraid of how I might react to what he had to say. If you want to keep the lines of communication open, like I did, you have to be approachable and easy to talk to. Give him a safe haven for sharing. Nothing has made a greater impact on our relationship than this. Now, he tells me everything. He never worries about how I’ll respond. And our communication improved dramatically.
5. Ask for what you need. This can be as simple as requesting that he be calm or wait for you to finish speaking. It can be as difficult as admitting that you are unhappy with your sex life or some other aspect of the relationship. Just know that if you don’t ask for what you need, you can’t be upset with him for not giving it to you, or at least trying to give it to you. Men aren’t mind readers. Even the most sensitive among them isn’t always going to anticipate your needs and desires.
6. Patience, grasshopper. Change takes time. It’s rare that everything you want to change will happen over night. Give it time. Be willing to work. It will all come together over time.After years in a challenging marriage, I’m finally in a healthy relationship with a wonderful man. We have managed to build something that has become the envy of friends and neighbors. Somehow, we have created a life that others see as an example of how they wish to be. Following these tips is a good start to an enduring love story.
When Nicki isn’t sharing relationship advice on Yahoo!, she can be found writing about her relationship on her blog, Suddenly Single Journey.