If you want a better relationship, stop this bad habit.

Posted on May 17, 2010

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There’s a disturbing trend I’ve been noticing lately with women in relationships. I feel obligated to write a post specifically to women who need a little reality check about their communication styles.

Over and over, my female clients complain about disrespectful communication from men. They say how they feel disrespected when their boyfriend looks at a hot girl who walks by, they feel disrespected when men say they are going to call and they never do, they feel disrespected when their husbands don’t help out enough around the house. Yes, I agree with them that ALL of these things can be perceived as disrespectful.

But what about you? How are you communicating with your significant other? And, could it possibly be disrespectful?

Lately, my husband and I have been spending a lot of time with other couples. Sometimes, at some point in the conversation, the woman turns to me and begins to berate her significant other in front of him.

I never know what to say when this happens. It’s not that my husband doesn’t work my nerves (and God knows I work his), but I just do not think it’s appropriate to put down my husband in front of other people. If he did this to me, I would be livid. So I don’t do this to him.

Ladies, the golden rule applies here. If you want respectful communication, you need to extend it. Stop berating your significant other in front of other people! In fact, stop berating him at all.

An acquaintance of ours, after complaining ad nauseum that her husband doesn’t listen to her enough (as he sat there listening to her complain about him), then said to us, “Really, you guys still act like you’re on your honeymoon!”

Perhaps what she really meant is that we don’t degrade each other to others. We voice our complaints directly and solve our problems within our relationship. Anything other than this is disrespectful.

Next time you feel the urge to complain about your significant other, just stop. Ask yourself:

1. What is it that’s bothering me here?

2. What is it that I need?

3. How can I effectively communicate my need directly to my partner?

Enlisting an audience is NOT the way to solve a relationship problem. It makes you look bad, it makes others uncomfortable and it almost guarantees a disrespectful response from your partner in turn.

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Posted in: Relationships