Sometimes we are so busy listening that we do not truly hear what the other person is saying. Learn to hear what the other person is saying and attend to how significant it is to them. Listen without dismissing based on your wants and needs.

We may believe what our partner is saying is not so threatening to the relationship. If we listen carefully we will hear their words are telling us what is important to them. It may sound insignificant to you and you dismiss their request. Their expectations may seem ridiculous to you; however, to them it may represent how much we respect and care for them. For example: I leave my pen and tablet on the table thinking I will use it again. My partner asked many times for me to put them in my office. I think it is no big deal to leave them on the table. My partner may interpret that as being disrespectful because it means so much to them to have the table clean.

As time passes, two well-intentioned people will slowly move apart. Your partner may believe you have judged them as insignificant since you did not take their request as important. I may consider my actions insignificant and assume my partner will understand that my actions have nothing to do with how much I care for them.

Listen to what your partner is saying. Listen to what is important to them and stop the pettiness that triggers arguments. I believe this works both ways – each partner listen to what the other is saying that is important to them. Discuss ways to solve the issues and you will promote respect and appreciation for each other. Holding on to pettiness is a deal breaker.

Talk with each other – not “at each other”. Be respectful and caring in your requests and acknowledge your partner’s requests. Work on changing little things so you can enjoy the big things in your life – including your relationship.

If you think your relationship is worth the effort, use your Skills (effective communication, problem solving and team playing). Sometimes that is not an easy task. However, it is possible with continued practice using skills. You decide how much effort and honesty you want to give yourself and your relationship.

Learn Cognitive Behavioral Skills to:
Communicate Effectively
Problem Solve
Team Play/Work