Healthy couple communication: How do I tell my partner what I really need?

Clear communication is the supreme discipline in relationships.

Healthy couple communication: How do I tell my partner what I really need?

Clear communication is the supreme discipline in relationships. You work as a relationship coach with people who are reaching their limits, Ms. Litzbarski. Are there classic communication problems that you encounter again and again? A classic one is the expectation that your partner will blindly understand you. I then hear sentences like "It must be clear to him that I don't want that" or "Why can't she see that I need that?". Behind this are needs that are not communicated transparently, which can then lead to disappointment. Both partners often just have different ideas about support in the household or love and appreciation. For some people, unloading the dishwasher is essential, for others, vacuuming plays a bigger role. And both expect the other to know and take this into account.

That sounds a bit like mind reading...Exactly. And this common misconception has a very simple reason: We think that our partner must understand us because they are so incredibly close to us. The person we love most in the world must be able to read between the lines and know our needs without us telling them. At least that is our feeling. In reality, of course, this is nonsense.

We notice this at the latest when conflicts arise in the relationship due to unfulfilled expectations. How can you break this pattern and tell your partner what you really need? First of all, it's totally normal if we're disappointed in each other. This shows that the relationship means a lot to us. It is all the more important to give in when we notice that something is going wrong. Then it's important to find out together how we can respond better to each other. Everyone should also look at their own nose and ask how they can express themselves better.

In what way?

Access to all STERN PLUS content and articles from the print magazine

ad-free

Already registered?

NEXT NEWS