It’s difficult to listen. Our world is bombarded with our social media reels, nano second news cycles and many talking heads. Mind you, these modalities are not a bad thing. Many great platforms have been built because of them. Our connection to the world has grown. It’s our world today and with new advances we will probably see much more. However, as with any good thing, too much can create an issue in our lives. We need to step back and make room for our intimate relationships to actively listen and connect on a deeper level. Learning and applying this skill has the potential to enhance not only your marriage, but also other relationships and even effect the next generations.
According to H. Hendrix in his book, “Getting the Love You Want”, “We cannot experience life in its fullness unless we have an intimate relationship with another human being and, beyond that, a feeling of connection with the world around us.” We were created to experience both connections. He outlines a simple yet profoundly effective way to initiate and cultivate a deeper, more intimate, connection. These steps need to be practiced so whenever an issue presents, you both are heard and validated. If your partner has an issue to present offer:
Mirroring. After your loved one expresses the content, repeat back to them what you heard them say. They may need to clarify the details to you if you missed a point. This facilitates your ability to truly understand your partner’s message. No judgement. It’s a moment in time where you actively decide to the put yourself aside and focus on them.
Validation. Make the connection in your mind of what they have experienced and how they have come to this conclusion. Verbalize your understanding of their feelings behind the message; You might not necessarily agree with their conclusion but you allow them the space to express and for you to live for a moment in that space with them. For example, “ I can see why you would feel nervous when the roads are covered in snow.”
Empathy; This is the moment you “feel” what your partner feels and experience that intimate connection of the heart. You put yourself in their shoes, so to speak. You could say, “That would make me leery of ever driving in snow!”
Practicing this skill set offers each other that place to be heard in the relationship as needed so that the authentic self now has the environment to show up and interact without judgement. There is no need for pretense here.
The depth and magnitude of the relationship could exponentially grow and foster greater unity, fulfillment and joy when each knows they are heard…
Image: Canva Pro
Content; Harville Hendrix Ph.D & Helen Lakelly Hunt Ph.D
”Getting the Love You Want”