Come from love. When we want change in our partners it does not help to come from a place of criticism, blame or attack. These are all completely counter-productive! However, it might feel like that is easier said than done if we feel unheard or ignored and have a lot of frustration or disappointment to manage. So it helps to be aware of ourselves and the story we have, and to work with that before we approach our partner and request that they make more effort.
It may help to see a counsellor to work through some of the feelings, which lead to a defensive stance in order to be open to coming from love. Then, make some time to talk to your partner and give him/her a heads up about what you want to talk about. This way they don’t feel ambushed. Set an intention for what you want to end feeling after the conversation. Perhaps it is just that you do not resort to becoming defensive but remain open and loving. If the conversation starts to deteriorate take a time out or call for a pause. Gather yourself and become mindful of being centered and aware.
Try to frame your request in a way that is not critical or negative. Don’t winge or whine! You might start by saying something positive or appreciative of your partner. You could start by saying how much you appreciate what they do in regard to something specific, working hard, caring for the kids, doing the bills, whatever it is. Then you might explain that you would like some assistance because you are feeling overwhelmed or exhausted (or whatever it is that you are feeling.) But be careful not to let the conversation generate into negativity. Even if your partner resists or becomes defensive, “But I always or you never..” remain firm in your intention to be compassionate and understanding.
Whatever it is that you are wanting: more connection, more romance, more sex, come from a place of love and compassion. Be understanding and willing to listen to your partner’s response and be prepared to really try and get them. But hold onto your own needs even if your partner does not validate them and persist in standing your ground from this place of love. Ultimately as Gandhi so famously said, we need to be the change we want to see in the world.
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