Join us for part seven of an eight-part series on relationships based on Harville Hendrix’s book Getting the Love you Want.
“It’s all your fault!”
“You’re always such a slob!”
“Why don’t you ever listen to me?”
In our weaker moments, this is the type of language we tend to use with our loved ones in the heat of an argument.
But there’s a better way to communicate—with anyone, but especially the ones we love the most.
The Couple’s Dialogue
This way of talking to one another is another tool outlined in Harville Hendrix’s book Getting the Love You Want. It takes some time and patience to get the hang this type of dialogue, but this strategy is a wonderful tool for effective communication between two loving partners.
How to do the Couple’s Dialogue: A Step-by-Step Guide
When Partner A has an issue or a grievance that he wants to talk about with Partner B, he asks her to have a Couple’s Dialogue.
She agrees. Now, Partner A becomes the Sender and Partner B becomes the Receiver.
As the Receiver, Partner B’s job is to mainly listen.
The Sender, Partner A, shares his issue and the Receiver, Partner B, does the following:
- Mirrors: The Receiver, or Partner B, repeats back what she hears from the Sender, or Partner A. They go back and forth until the Sender, Partner A, feels heard correctly. This helps eliminate the miscommunications that can happen in the heat of arguments.
- Validates: The Receiver, Partner B, lets the Sender, Partner A, know that what he shared made sense. It’s logical. This indicates that she can see his point of view.
- Empathizes: The Receiver, Partner B, shows compassion and sensitivity to the Sender, Partner A. This is about putting herself into his shoes and responding with only kindness.
Why Should You Try the Couple’s Dialogue?
These dialogues aren’t necessarily about “resolving issues.” These types of dialogues are about listening, understanding, and caring for each other’s concerns. As a result of implementing such a harmonious and safe communication, a resolution can naturally emerge.
Give it a try and let us know how you like it. Better yet, share with us any communication tools that you practice in your own life and relationship! We’d love to learn from you.
Want to learn more?
If you found this particular strategy helpful, you may want to continue this series with us. You can find the next installment in the post below. Or, navigate to previous posts—those links are below, too.
The next in the series:
▷▷▷ Part 8: Reap The Rewards
Previous posts in the series:
▷▷▷ Part 1: External versus Internal Quest
▷▷▷ Part 2: The IMAGO Match
▷▷▷ Part 3: The Power Struggle
▷▷▷ Part 4: Closing Your Exits
▷▷▷ Part 5: Create a Relationship Vision
▷▷▷ Part 6: Re-romanticize Your Relationship
Want to learn even more?
This practice was so valuable for us, I can’t recommend it enough.
To take these learnings even further, I highly recommend digging up as much as you can about IMAGO. You can learn more about this method and find a therapist at Harville Hendrix’s website. Find it here: https://harvilleandhelen.com/
Have you tried these relationship strategies? What works for you? I’d love to hear more in the comments below.