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One way to frame a safe conversation is to start with a statement like “I’m having a hard time with something, and I want to share it with you. ” If it’s not a good time for the other person to hear this, the requester must accept it.But the other person must in turn offer a time he or she would be more open to hearing your concerns.It’s imperative that both members of a couple make a strict commitment to this approach. In a particularly unhealthy relationship, this might in fact mean that both people have nothing to say to each other for a long period of time.In this case, the dynamic between the partners has become so toxic, so stuck in a loop of one-up, one-down behavior that it’s violated both members’ feelings of trust and safety.
In time, you’ll begin to notice all the ways you were being unconsciously critical — making jokes at the other’s expense, speaking negatively about them to others, thinking passive aggressive thoughts. I challenge you to give it a try — not a word, not a comment, not a glance in a negative direction.
It’s easy to think criticism is a constructive process — one member of a relationship feels he/she knows the other in and out, and in making “suggestions” for how the other might change or improve, he/she is merely helping the other overcome his/her flaws and deficiencies.
“You’re a handsome man,” one might say, “but wouldn’t you rather wear a dress shirt than those ratty t-shirts?
Meeting someone new and falling in love, especially after separation or divorce, can be one of the most positive and exciting times in our lives.
Introducing a new partner to your children is something that requires some thought before you go ahead and a decision not to be taken lightly.
Read the following tips to help you plan how to go about it...