More than words...'right-brain to right-brain' communication in intimate relationships

Remember when you were a little boy or girl - how important it was when you were upset that Mum or Dad comforted you. They may have responded to you with a hug or a kiss, reassured you that you would be OK, and maybe helped you to make sense of how you were feeling.

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Are you 'listening to your partner's music' in your relationship?

Communication in relationships is a lot like music - music with or without words. When you feel connected to the one you love, probably some, if not all of these things are happening:-

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What helps you to 'have a voice' in your relationship?

Having a voice is fundamental in healthy relationships. It's the ability to speak freely about issues that concern you, being able to influence your partner to change when her/his actions are affecting you negatively. It's also about building trust - voicing your hopes and dreams, and at times - being able to entrust your most vulnerable thoughts and feelings with the one you love.

Too often, when couples come to counselling, either one or both are feeling that they've lost their voice in the relationship. If you are feeling this way, you may be experiencing the following:-

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It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it.... making love and war in intimate relationships

Have you and your partner ever found yourselves in the situation where you both want the same thing - to have a passionate sex life, to be able to communicate deeply about issues that are important to you both, for example - but are unable to achieve this? It may be that you're focussing more on the destination than finding the right way to get there.

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How do you manage differences in your relationship?

It's tricky when the thing that first attracted us to our partner - she's funny and outgoing.... he's thoughtful and kind..... becomes the very thing that can cause problems later on. Five or ten years later, her preference for socializing with large groups of people in noisy gathering places may mean you never agree where you want to go out together anymore. One person's tendency to help out extended family and friends at the drop of a hat may make the other feel that s/he doesn't come first in their partner's list of priorities.

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What gets 'lost in translation' between you and your partner?

Have you ever wondered what gets 'lost in translation' between you and your partner? Why your attempts to express your love and caring may seem not to be noticed or valued? Why your requests to have your needs met may appear to be falling on deaf ears? We can be very different in what we need to feel loved and appreciated. For some of us, affirming words are what it takes. For others, it may be when our loved one spends time with us - both quality and quantity time! For some, it is when their partner takes the trouble to buy a gift that they feel truly valued.

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Gender and relationships

Did you know that, in spite of the enormous amount of attention given to the supposed differences betwen women and men in media and other written sources, that we are much more alike than different? And that what research actually does show is, where gender roles are less stereotyped - that is, where women and men are prepared to share housework, childcare, earning income and so on - relationships are more durable and successful? Not only for the couple - children do so much better when their Dads  are actively involved in their lives.

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