When it comes to lasting relationships, do you know what the most important part of a man’s body is?
It’s not what you think. It’s his…heart. That’s right – his heart. One of the biggest myths about men is that they can’t handle emotions. In my years of practice – and certainly in my life – I’ve learned that the opposite is true. Men love emotions. In fact, in relationships, they often count on them. The more you can communicate your true emotions, the more comfortable he feels about communicating with you.
So, when you are with your boyfriend or husband, how do you communicate with your heart? Here are some common-sense tips, based on years of experience.
Be observant. Before you say a word, it helps to truly take notice of what your partner’s doing – or not doing. Does he look you in the eyes, or does he look way? Is he comfortable standing close to you, or does he keep a distance? Is he calm during disagreements, or does he have a temper? There are no right or wrong answers here. The important thing is to be aware of where your partner is coming from.
Listen – without judgement. Granted, this is hard to do – especially if you are justifiably upset about something. Yet, for truly open communication, this is essential. If he is telling you something and you are not sure you understand what he’s saying, it’s fine to ask him to clarify things. You can say something like “Let me understand you correctly. You are telling me that…” Then, repeat what you think he said. Even in the heat of an argument, your partner will appreciate this. He will know that you want to understand him.
Ask questions. If you completely get what your partner is saying, that’s fantastic. But it doesn’t always work out that way. In this situation, don’t be afraid to ask specific questions. Too often, women resist doing this with a man, for fear that they’ll come off as “too prodding” – or even worse, a “nag.” Do your best to resist that fear. Some men are great communicators – and others need help. This is where questions come in handy.
Tell him how you’re feeling. Once you understand of what your partner is saying, then share how you are feeling with him. Be honest. After all, he needs to know where you are coming from. Try to do this without placing blame. Even if blame is justified, it will only make him defensive. Just tell him how you feel, and see how he responds. If you have a healthy relationship to begin with, your partner should at least acknowledge your feelings.
Point out the positives. Even in the middle of an argument or a difficult conversation, it’s important to let your partner know that he is not being attacked. Before telling him something that he probably does not want to hear, start by communicating what he means to you. You could say something like, “You know I love you and our relationship means everything to me…” and then say what needs to be said.
Apologize…but only if you mean it. There will, of course, be times when he tells you things you don’t want to hear. If he points out an honest fault of yours, that needs to be acknowledged. An apology would be appropriate, but – and this is a big but – only if you are honestly sorry. And only if you can articulate how you can truthfully do better. Do not, under any circumstances, tell him your sorry if that’s not true. Yes, this might calm the argument down, but those hurt feelings of yours are sure to resurface in other ways.
Practice these steps, and in no time, you will be a solid heart-to-heart communicator. When you communicate with your heart, you pay attention not only to what you say, but also to how you say it. As a woman, you may very well need to take the lead on this, but it’s worth it. When your man knows that he can feel comfortable expressing himself with you, there’s a much better chance to have a relationship based on mutual respect, honesty – and ever-lasting love.