Recently I was asked by many of you: “Uh, how do you communicate with your husband so openly??”… “doesn’t your husband loses his cool??”… “how did you tell your husband that you wanted this so easily and have him agreed too?”… “how did you guys built a relationship like that?”. So, I decided to do a 5 part series answering all of your questions about communication! Thank you for asking all of these radical and interesting questions! Always stay curious, my friends. Now, let’s dive in.
Never, Ever Lie:
When it comes to being transparent, I have one rule in my relationship: never, ever lie to me. It’s that simple. When hubby and I got together 7 years ago, we had this ironclad rule with each other. Just don’t lie. We can argue. We can evolve and have new needs pop up. But never ever lie.
Why? Because it erodes the trust in the relationship, and if you can’t trust each other. Well….you’re going to have a difficult time communicating. So my first piece of advice is to think of yourself as a walking, open book with your partner. Tell them everything. Divulge those details. Go into those difficult spots that are uncomfortable. Have those intense conversations! My husband and I have had some incredible, intense conversations that has left both of us so raw, open, and exposed, yet every time, we feel closer than ever because we’re always on the same wavelength. If you never lie, then you never have to stress about hiding things
Have a Basis of Friendship with Your Partner:
The second piece of advice when it comes to being transparent is to be friends with your partner. Yes, you might be married (or not). But I can tell you from personal experience (and past divorce!) that just because you’re married doesn’t mean that you’re friends with your spouse! Make sure your partner is someone that you want to hang out with. If you were to ask my husband and me how we define our relationship, we would likely say the same thing: we’re best friends first and spouses second.
Why? Because we genuinely love to hang out with each other. We enjoy each other’s company. We share the same sense of humor. Likewise, he and I are extremely close friends too! We rejoice in the moments where we can do regular things together or just hang out and talk about the day-to-day stuff. By having multiple layers to your relationship, you have a reason on being transparent.
When talking to other people, I’ve found that when the relationship is different, there isn’t the same emotional depth as there is if you’re friends, lovers, partners, etc. Certainly, the relationship is meaningful and precious. But when your relationship is also your friendship, you can lean on each other more. Suddenly your dominant is not only your protector, but they are your confidant and trusted voice of reason. You have space and freedom to emotionally open up, especially on the days when you don’t feel like yourself or want to have a fun session. (And you know what? That’s perfectly normal, too!).
Learn to Be Blunt:
Ask either of my wonderful men, and they will tell you that when it comes to decompressing… I can be a bit blunt. I like to say that I don’t sugarcoat things. I call it as I see it, and they know that I’m going to give them my honest opinion. But there is beauty in being blunt. When striving on being transparent with your partner, don’t try and censor yourself. Obviously, you don’t want to be disrespectful, but you also don’t need to tiptoe around the issue at hand. Just go for it.
Take a deep breath and sit down with your partner/s. Express what’s in your heart. In my relationships, I use a code phrase to indicate that I need them to let me vent and get something strong off of my chest. My code phrase is: I need you to hold space for me. The term “holding space” comes from the practice of active/empathetic listening that was developed by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, the man who created the theory of Compassionate Communication.
Holding space refers to letting your partner vent while you listen without inserting your opinion. Instead of thinking about what you want to say in reply, try listening to absorb what they’re trying to convey. Listen with empathy and compassion. Giving them your undivided attention is one way of demonstrating understanding and respect, and it goes a long way. In the process of venting, allow yourself to be blunt. Get it all out there. Your partner wants to know what’s on your mind, and in doing so, you are being transparent and 110% open with them.
Talk Your A** Off With Each Other:
When it comes to my relationship, I talk to both my husband all the time. Like, all the time! Yes, even if we are in a long-distance relationship, we constantly text and strive to talk on the phone at least once a day. We email at select times of the day and weave in pictures and blog posts to keep each other deeply connected. On top of that, we exchange schedules to know what the other person is up to when we aren’t talking on the phone. It’s comforting, but more than that, it allows for total transparency. I show the respect and love that he deserves by making myself available 24/7 for him.
When he’s at work, I leave Google Hangouts open so we can chit-chat on messenger throughout the day. He comes home for lunch every day, so we aren’t apart for more than 4 hours at a time. We also take time every evening to decompress, snuggle, and just catch up. We have our own rituals when hanging out with each other, and we have the nighttime routine that we do to ease into sleep while keeping me Little. It’s wonderful.
My point in all of this is that you’re helping your relationship grow when you’re communicating. There’s a massive difference between communicating openly and being transparent and communicating through criticism. But in short, talk to your partner. Be honest about your feelings always. Keep it real and allow yourself to be blunt yet respectful, and always tell the truth. If you do this, then you’ll be just fine.
Alright, my friends, that’s it from me for this post. Stay tuned for another installment as I tackle communication in this 5 part series, and I will see you back here for the next topic!