“I’ve been with my partner for 9 years and he is still very immature and lacks in communication to me. I’ve attempted the 5 Love Languages, I listen to your Youtube videos and I’m really trying to move forward but he wont try with me and says I’m just nagging and controlling and he doesn’t need to tell me everything.”
Three things came up in this question that I’d like to address
1.The language you used to describe your relationship
2.The EXPECTATIONS you have that’s disrupting your connection
3.The differences between men and women communication styles
Communication has to be one of the main problems people in relationships face (generally speaking of course), but there are a couple of opportunities to look at how we are participating in our relationships or, in this case, how our language could be disrupting the connection in this relationship.
I truly believe language aids to our overall beliefs about people. And it’s these beliefs that dictate the energy we bring to our relationships.
So, let’s start with how you described your partner, “immature” and “lacks communication.”
If that is the language you use to describe him, it doesn’t matter if you’ve read all the relationship books or how many TLC videos you’ve watched, the energy you are bringing to your relationship is not going to be positive. Hence the disruption in your communication.
Imagine being around someone who thought negative thoughts about you. Even if they didn’t say those thoughts out loud, you’d still be able to feel it right? But it’s ok for us to have these thoughts and beliefs about our partners and think they’ll never know?
The truth is, he can’t be that immature or lack in communication too much if you’ve been with him for 9 years, so the first thing I’d suggest is to change your beliefs about him.
“Switch your EXPECTATIONS to APPRECIATION.”
What does he do that you are grateful for? What has kept you in a relationship with him for so long? What do you love about him? What does he do, that at times, get unnoticed by you because you’re too focused on what he’s doing wrong?
We don’t realize the dramatic effect our expectations have on our relationships. Actually, they are the #1 killer of our relationships. As soon as someone feels you are living in expectation, (expecting them to do x,y,z), it’s no surprise that might come off as controlling.
Speaking of control, that’s a perfect gateway to the difference between men and women as it comes to communication.
Men are FREEDOM driven. Not to say women aren’t either. But men thrive off freedom. Another thing that was discovered men thrive off of is PRAISE and APPRECIATION from their spouse especially. Good men want to know they are the one that makes you happy. And when they see they are failing you, it’s easier for them to disconnect than engage because they feel they can’t win.
This can be really hard for us ladies because we thrive off connection. So when our men have disconnected (chose to disengage because they feel they can’t win), we feel alone and create BELIEFS about why that is. And these beliefs are what creates, even more, distance in the relationship, but it takes a small shift in our energy which comes from changing our focus to appreciation.
See how this all comes full circle?
Communication isn’t about talking. Just because someone shares their feelings doesn’t mean they are an excellent communicator and although women are more expressive with their feelings, most men are not wired the same. The goal is to find the way THEY communicate, which will be completely different than you.
The only way you are going to truly open up communication in your relationship though is to SWITCH YOUR FOCUS and appreciate the good that exists before you both can work on the struggles. It takes both people in the relationship to fix a problem. Getting on the same page means finding common ground (appreciation for each other) so you can tackle the rest of what doesn’t serve your relationship.
I’d suggest taking the next 30 days of COMPLETELY switching your focus to all the good and find ways to praise your partner with NO expectation. I know this sounds hard. It’s actually HARDER to implement, but there’s one thing for certain, it will either completely transform your relationship, OR it will show if this relationship is something you want to continue participating with.