Are you speaking up, or silent and resentful?
Do you let lots of little things upset you or hurt you in your relationship but you generally don’t say anything? Perhaps you don’t want to make waves or you’re scared of upsetting him. So you bottle everything up until you’re so angry you explode and then he doesn’t understand why you’re so upset! …
When it comes to speaking up in a romantic relationship with a man it’s easy to slip into fear of upsetting him and/or that he might leave you. So before getting angry at him and lamenting to your girlfriends that you’re with the wrong man you might want to consider how much of your unhappiness is really about him. Does it actually have more to do with your inability to speak up effectively?
I recommend taking a step back and considering whether you’re making the most of the best tool you have to find out if you really are with the right man or not – and that’s language and communication.
Remember, most healthy men are primarily motivated to make you as happy as possible when they’re in a relationship with you… But are you helping him to succeed in doing that?
Here are 3 communication tips that will help you master your side of the communication in a relationship – and they’ll also help you find out if you’re with the right man or not.
#1. Listen to your feelings and trust them
Practice allowing your feelings instead of masking them or shoving them down with food, addictions or busyness. How you feel is generally a really good guide about the health or your relationship. When something is occurring in the relationship that doesn’t feel good or sit right for you, it lets you know that something is off. It doesn’t matter how small it is – if it upsets you then you must say something to your man.
For some women it might seem as though you’re speaking up on every little thing at first. But this might be necessary for you to feel happy in the relationship and to find out if your man is willing to cherish you. If you’re thinking that he should ‘just know how I feel or what I need’, it’s important to know that these thoughts come from the child part of you, and it’s often the wounded child.
Many adults make the mistake of thinking that if someone loves me, they should know how I feel, but that’s only really true for a mother. Wanting others in your adult life to ‘just know’ how you feel or what you need without you telling them is expecting them to read your mind, and that’s an irrational expectation.
A healthy adult is comfortable letting their mate know when something pleases them and when it doesn’t please them. If you are allowing yourself to be treated poorly because you’re scared to speak up, you’re going to feel unhappy, angry and resentful in your relationship. I know speaking up can be scary but you must learn to do it.
If you’re the type of women who says “I don’t take shit from any man” that’s a great start. The problem is you might be communicating it in a way that’s defensive, seductive, angry or aggressive. This can have a negative impact on your dating or your relationship.
#2. Make consistency your priority
I encourage everyone woman I work with (and I make it a practice myself) to speak up and say something when you don’t feel comfortable about a situation, event or incident with a man.
Do I like speaking up and saying things in my relationship? No. Do I get a little nervous about saying something? Yes. But I know that I have a tendency to get critical and snaky (as my man calls it) if I don’t say something. Does he get angry sometimes when I say things? Yes! However for my long-term health and for the health of our relationship I know that I must speak up.
Every woman I work with who does this either ends up with an amazing relationship or they find out very quickly if the man is more concerned with his own feelings.
It’s important for you to get really clear on what things really do upset you and what things you can let go. I’ve found that a lot of women are annoyed or upset by things that happen in the relationship but they don’t speak up because they believe it’s silly being upset over such a little incident or comment.
Make it a practice when you feel upset to spend a little time reflecting on what has upset you and if it relates to something much deeper. It’s important for you to know that if it upsets you. No matter how little an incident or comment it is, you must say something. Otherwise it can and will affect the intimacy and connection you have with your man, as little things that are not dealt with can accumulate and cause resentment.
There is nothing worse than having sex with someone you’re secretly resenting or angry at. Make it a practice to consistently speak up about situations, events or incidents that occur in the relationship that don’t feel good to you.
#3. Learn how to speak to men
So many women think that they can speak to men the same way they speak to their girlfriends but this doesn’t really work. Women think if they explain their feelings to a man he’ll understand them and know how to treat them. Wrong!
The take-home message here is delivery and vulnerability. Blurting out that you feel hurt or unhappy whenever you want to will not work in the long run. Men think and process differently to women. Men are motivated by different goals and you must know how to tap into these goals to get the best from a man and your relationship.
When you’re first learning how to speak to men it’s really important that you learn a very specific structure. This way it guarantees that you won’t fall back into old, less effective communication patterns with men.
Until then … Be open to love.