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Oh boy you are in for a treat today. I cannot wait to introduce you to this incredible duo and founders of The Love Brunch Monique and Nailah who are taking over Nu Bride today and contributing to our Ever After. relationship series.
I met Monique and Nailah online (like I do most of you cool cats) and I invited them to take part in our Ever After panel discussion at Nu Bride The Wedding Show in April and it was THE most popular talk of the day. There’s plenty of inspo for choosing the perfect flower, chair or outfit, but how much advice are you getting on on how to actually make your marriage work?
With a professional background in relationship counselling to overcoming challenges in their own relationship to make their marriage work, the advice they have for you is GOLD.
The biggest causes of relationship challenges are a breakdown in communication. Stay savvy and tune in for tips on how to improve communication in your relationship from Monique and Nailah
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If I were to ask you to think back to the last argument you had with your partner, would you be able to tell me what started it? Would you be able to tell me what was hurtful and why?
I think back to my own experiences, and I remember it feeling almost like an out of body experience with me saying to myself – Ouch! Why did I say that? I knew I should have apologised, stop, and listen to what was being said. Instead, I wanted to be right, rather than caring to understand the feelings of my partner. We go toe to toe, to see who can outdo the other, to see who was more entitled to have the more significant hurt and how many rounds we can go until someone stops.
How easy it is to be caught up in the rapture of your feelings during a heated argument, gaining very little out of it. And what was the overall objective?
To argue, become defensive, fighting back the comments said and vice versa. Very little being heard, even less being resolved.
If you are like me having that out-of-body experience, how essential is it to STOP, BREATH, actively LISTEN to your partner and stop allowing your ego to dictate your actions in that moment. Which act will birth the desired outcome?
A survey carried out by Therapy Today by The BACP (a popular family therapy organisation), found that over 79.7% of couples go to counselling due to a communication break down.
Communication is a fragile and is a crucial aspect of any relationship. When someone feels as though they are not heard, that person can often feel rejected or invisible. These feelings, if experienced regularly and over a long period of time, can create frustration, anger, and in some cases, resentment.
So what prevents us from listening and reflecting on what is being said, and responding in a way that demonstrates being present in the moment with that person, rather than listening to respond.
Communication breaks down when one or both individuals make a conscious or unconscious decision to stop listening.
To stop being in the moment with each other because their hurt, pain, and frustration has become so insurmountable that they can only focus on the self.
Excellent communication in a relationship starts with empathic thinking. So, here are three techniques you could consider using to help:
Could you have done anything that might have changed the outcome?
We need to be reflexive. To think about how you perceived a particular situation and why specific emotions are being evoked. It allows you to question your response to that situation, and it encourages curiosity of the self. Is your reception the same as reality?
Am I attentive to my partner’s needs?
No one ever wants to feel rejected or unsupported.
STOP, BREATH, and engage active listening to establish whether there is critical information being exchanged that could improve your understanding and interpreting your partner’s needs.
Consider External Factors
Could there be outside factors filtering into your relationship that needs to be considered? If so, what might it feel like for that person experiencing it, and could that be a reason for their behaviour and your response in tern?
Asking these questions can help you view any situation from a lens other than your own. It also helps to unpick and focus on what the real concerns are, in the relationship that is being overshadowed by the things on the surface. Remember, it isn’t always ‘why didn’t you unload the dishwasher or take the rubbish out that is causing the concern.
Once you establish what the underlying concerns might be, the next step is to talk about how best you or your partner resolve these concerns and or how best to seek support in doing so.
Try and let us know how you get on! Thank you so much Monique and Nailah for your brilliant advice. Stay tuned for the next instalment and for more information on the next Love Brunch to give your relationship an MOT (Mr Nu Bride and I loved the first one!) taking place in London on the 30th November hop on over!
Photography via Unsplash