The first step, and the core of a strong and healthy relationship is clear and respectful communication--even when it's difficult. Creative communication is the shared process of mutual understanding.
Making love last is a beautiful ideal, and a worthwhile goal. But it’s easier said than done. Especially as we change and grow, as our partners evolve, and as our life situations shift.
From my work with hundreds of counseling and coaching clients, mediating couples through the court system and even from my own family experiences, I have learned what works and what doesn’t. What strengthens relationships and what weakens them.
Here is a creative collection of actions, insights and attitudes that you and your partner can use to strengthen and enhance your relationship. The process can begin by sharing this resource together, and deciding what can work best for the two of you. Please share your experiences with us at CreativeRelationshipCenter.com. You’ll find additional resources there, too. They help couples at all stages of their relationship, from engaged partners who want the best possible start … to couples in conflict who want to get back on the path to a mutually rewarding relationship … to motivated, loving couples who wish to enhance their already strong and loving relationship.
Remember, the stronger the couple - the stronger the family. The relationship you nurture who positively affect your family for generations. It’s truly “legacy work.”
If you’d like even more personal, customized help realizing your ideal relationship and making love last, look into our exclusive Couples” Guided Program. This unique experience helps couples identify their shared values and vision … remove the barriers to achieving it … and create a road map to its realization.
I wish you success and happiness. We’re here to help.
Shared: all of the people communicating have a responsibility toward its successful outcome. They each play their part in the process, and take their turn giving and receiving information. Some of that information is intellectual (data) and some is emotional.
Process: creative communication isn’t a single event; it’s a series of conversations and interactions over a period of time. That includes the past exchanges (positive and negative) as well as the future goals of the relationship. Without this understanding, we too often try to win a short term battle at the expense of the long-term relationship.
Mutual understanding: In creative communications, the goal is understanding, not convincing, persuading, or “winning.” All the participants need to not just be understood, but to feel understood. You need an open ear, open mind, and open heart. It demands a big picture, long term perspective. Required skills include active listening, and reality checks.
Unlike one-way, win-lose propositions, Creative Communication is a two-way, win-win, collaborative process. Here are a few of the concepts and tools that will help you achieve relationship enhancing Creative Communications:
Work toward mutual understanding. If our goal is to win, dominate, and be “right” we can’t connect closely and build long-term, loving relationships.
Establish safety zones and time-out procedures. This is the nurturing soil in which relationships flourish. It establishes trust and boundaries, without which there can be no real communication. If I don’t trust you, I don’t believe you. If I don’t feel safe, I’ll avoid you, flee, or fight. When emotions boil, time-outs turn down the heat. Before communicating, agree on prearranged signals to retreat, and honor them. Use the time to recompose yourself. Time-outs should be used to strengthen communication by removing or reducing the emotional heat of the moment, and not as a continual avoidance tactic; it’s also important to agree on time-in procedures so that important issues don’t remain unresolved.
Be aware of your intent. Is it to lecture, or listen? Short-term gain or long-term growth? Honor different opinions. Agreeing isn’t the same as understanding. Learn to disagree respectfully, and to focus on what you do agree on.
Honor and respect different communication styles. Listen more to what is being expressed rather than how it’s expressed. Understand the difference between dialogue and monologue.
Use “I” messages. “I feel ___ when _____.” Learn how to handle difficult, heated issues. It’s difficult, but essential. Not addressed, these issues fester and destroy relationships.
Take reality checks. Make certain that what is sent is clearly received by stating back what you believe you heard - and be open to clarification.
Seek and welcome help. It’s difficult to see our own communication blind spots, and counterproductive patterns. A qualified coach or counselor can illuminate new communication skills to bring you closer to mutual understanding.
Great couples don’t happen by accident.
~Wendy Pegan, Relationship Builder