Wednesday, January 4, 2017

3 Strategies for Communicating Better with Your Partner

Happy couple
(Note: It's important to emphasize that focusing on your health should be your priority during the first year of sobriety. But, after you reach that milestone, talk to your treatment team about establishing new relationships. The right time to invest in a partnership is different for everyone based on their individual journey of addiction recovery.)

Have you ever had a conversation with your partner only to find out later that they walked away with an entirely different take on what you were trying to say? If so, you are not alone!

While you may spend a lot of time together, your significant other will never be a mind-reader so it’s important to work on developing better communication skills as a team. That way, you can reduce your collective risk of interpreting something differently than what the other intended.

No relationship is perfect. But, you can work together to establish healthier communication strategies to grow closer as a couple. 

Here are a few tips for communicating more clearly and directly with your partner!

(1) Be thoughtful about whether it’s online or in person. 
When you think about optimizing your communication skills, instinctually you probably first consider the words you choose. But, it’s also important to factor in your means of communication. 

One good rule of thumb is to reserve email and text messages for everyday topics like where to go for dinner. More serious matters should really only be discussed in person. It’s all too easy to misinterpret the tone of a message when you’re just reading it on a screen.

(2) Don’t put labels on anyone.
During an argument, it’s easy to stereotype the other person. But, ask yourself, would you want anyone to do the same to you? If something is bothering you, focus on the behavior of the other person and how that makes you feel. By avoiding labels, you are respecting their ability as a human being to change and grow as a person.

(3) Ask questions!
If you are working through an issue where you each have differing viewpoints, don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s easy to quit trying to find some common ground on a polarizing issue if you don’t try to learn where the other person is coming from. Instead of just focusing on your partner’s stance, ask follow-up questions to better understand why they hold that opinion. After investigating their underlying emotions, you might have greater clarity into their perspective.

If you or your partner have given up a lifestyle of drugs and alcohol, your relationship may need to be repaired during the journey of addiction recovery. And, focusing on communicating more effectively as a team can help you both grow closer together and build a stronger partnership along the way.

Building Healthier Relationships During Recovery

By the end of our addiction treatment program, our goal is for you to be able to identify a healthy relationship while respecting yourself and your partner in all areas. At Rising Roads Recovery, we can help you create and follow boundaries and learn how do decipher between your inner circle and peripheral people. Start your healthy life by calling us today at (866) 746-1558.

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