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San Diego & Encinitas Marriage Advice — Three Vital Acts for a Happy Marriage – Communicate What You Want

People want a happy marriage in San Diego and Encintias.Many elements are required to make a happy marriage. Emotional and spiritual maturity are essential. As a part of this required maturity are three vital acts. First, you must set healthy boundaries. Second, you must communicate what you want. Third, you must give with genuine loving intention.  Do these three things and you can have a happy relationship and a happy life. For more information on setting healthy boundaries and giving with loving intention please see the companion articles.

Communicate what you want. Most of us don’t communicate what we need and want. When there is a conflict or need many people remain silent expecting their mate to read their mind. Some people complain. Some tell their partner how they feel, not what they really need or want. Such people neglect telling their partner what they want them to do or how they can help. This leaves the partner in the dark and guessing how they can make things better. It wouldn’t make sense at the dinner table to ask your partner to guess that you want them to pass the butter. Of course you would say, “Please pass the butter.” By the same token you need to let your partner know what you want in all aspects of your life. Telling your partner what you want is a call to action, a suggested request for help in some matter. Remember that if you have a caring partner that he/she really does want to please you. By telling them what you want or need you are doing them a favor. They don’t have to guess. And you are doing yourself a favor in that you increase your chances of getting what you want or need.

For example to say, “I don’t like it when you’re late. It makes me feel upset,” may not be helpful in bringing about a changed behavior and can actually create an argument. There are times when expressing your feelings can even be counter productive. You can sound like you are whining or feeling sorry for yourself. Of course, knowing your feelings is important. Understanding what you feel is valuable information for you to have in order to know how to solve a problem or communicate a need. However, expressing your feelings may be only half of what you need to do.  Perhaps it would be more helpful to say, “Your being late creates stress for me. Honey, I know you don’t want to create more stress in my life. I’d like you to be more on time. Will you please make more of an effort to be on time?” Sometimes it might be helpful to add, “Can we talk about this?”

You must let your partner know specifically what you want. If you don’t tell them they may never know. Don’t make them guess what you want. Ask for it. Tell them. Open up. You will be greatly rewarded.

Of course you don’t want to become over demanding. But you do want to keep your partner informed. Express what you need and want for everything from sex to how much savings you need in the bank to feel comfortable. “Honey, I’d love a back rub.” “Baby, I need to go to bed early tonight.” “Sweetheart, I’d like to be alone for a while.” “Honey, please come and sit beside me.” “Honey, I’d rather not spend the money on a vacation right now.” “I’d rather have peanut butter and jelly.” Open those communication doors.

Ask your partner what he/she needs or wants. Ask them to open up as well. People who never express what they need and want can feel neglected and become resentful. Insist that both of you get your needs expressed and filled. If one of you is too demanding then talk about it. Negotiate those things that are conflicting. Use win-win communication skills to solve your problems.

Open up. Say what you need and want. Encourage your partner to do the same.  Always use kindness and respect in your communication. To learn more about the three vital acts look for the companion articles of First Vital Act: Setting Healthy Boundaries and Third Vital Act: Giving With Loving Intention.

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