This episode is a continuation of the discussion we had last week with therapist Eli Harwood. Eli and I dive deeper into what to do when there’s trouble in your relationship when you desperately want a secure attachment, but it feels like it’s a long way off for you and your partner. How do you communicate to your partner that things need to change? How do you work to build your connection with them while also holding onto your connection with yourself? Many thanks to Eli for her honest and heartfelt wisdom about working to improve communication and attachment in marriage when it feels really difficult.
3 Takeaways for Communicating To Your Partner That Things Need to Change
- Find a safe place to process what’s going on in your relationship and grieve if necessary. This might be with a therapist or a very close friend. Ask yourself, “Do I feel unsafe turning to my partner with my vulnerability because of my past? Or do I feel unsafe turning to my partner because data from this person has shown me that they aren’t emotionally safe?” The answer to those questions will guide your next steps. And don’t forget to allow yourself to grieve as you’re doing this processing because that is a necessary step.
- Articulate clearly and directly what you need your partner to learn in order for you to feel safe in the relationship. Eli gave several scripts* for this, including, “I need you to learn how to be gentle with me when I am having tender feelings. I don’t blame you for being uncomfortable when I’m sad, especially with what I know about how you grew up, but this is something that is really hurting me, and I’m not willing to just keep ignoring it.” If you communicate this to your partner and nothing changes, it’s time for takeaway #3:
- Identify your boundaries and next actions. Communicate to your partner what you are going to do if things in the relationship don’t change. Eli’s script* for this was, “Hey, I’ve already asked you directly to work on this, and in these three tender scenarios, you stayed in that old pattern of belittling me. So I need you to go see this therapist with me or by yourself for the next six months on a weekly basis. I love you, and I want to figure this out, but if you haven’t really committed to therapy over the next six months, my next move is to live in a separate house. I can’t continue to live in a house where I am mocked about my tender feelings.” *Obviously, modify those scripts depending on your unique situation and relationship.
>>>Are these tips from Eli helpful? What did you learn about communicating to your partner? Would you add anything? Tell us in the comments below.
Get in touch with our Guest!
- Instagram: @attachmentnerd
- Website: www.attachmentnerd.com or www.attachmentlabs.com
- Book: Securely Attached
Mentioned in the Episode:
- Click here to access our relationships playlist
- Click here to access Eli’s membership for parents
- Click here to access Eli’s book “Securely Attached”
- Vionic Shoes: Go to vionicshoes.com and use code 3IN30 for 15% off your order
- BetterHelp: This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. Go to betterhelp.com/3in30 to get 10% off your first month of online therapy!
- Fabric: Life insurance designed by parents for parents to help you get a high quality surprisingly affordable term life insurance policy in less than 10 minutes.
Related episodes like this one on being a safe place for your sweetheart
- 021: Three Easy but Impactful Ways to Deepen Relationships with Others
- 095: 3 Simple Rituals of Connection for your Marriage // Nate Bagley
- 340: How to Be a Safe Place for Your Sweetheart// Eli Harwood
- 341: When your Partner’s Beliefs are Changing, and it Makes you Uncomfortable// Eli Harwood