We’re all familiar with the phrase “It’s like talking to a brick wall, ” and there’s very little as frustrating as this feeling. Whether you’re repeating a request to your child or asking your partner to take out the garbage for what feels like the hundredth time, nobody likes feeling ignored. If you want to cultivate and maintain a strong and healthy marriage, decreasing the amount of stress is key. Now, very few people actively ignore their spouse — it’s usually a combination of old habits, busyness, and a need for distraction. Most of the time, feeling unheard in your relationship can be solved with time, patience, and work on the part of both people involved. So how, exactly, can start feeling heard in your relationship? We have a few ideas.
Communicate Your Needs
First thing’s first — nobody is a mind-reader. While communicating your needs can sometimes feel uncomfortable, it’s necessary so your partner doesn’t continue problematic behaviors while being completely oblivious to the fact that you are having a problem with them. If you feel like your needs aren’t being met or you aren’t being heard — or your partner is outright ignoring you — tell them. It’s likely that they don’t even realize what they’re doing is hurting you and causing you distress. When you strive for open and honest communication, uncomfortable conversations like this can become a lot less awkward. Don’t be afraid to speak up and make your needs known.
Establish Tech-Free Time
Ah, the siren song of a funny TikTok video or compelling Netflix documentary — we’ve all fallen victim to tuning out the questions and requests of our loved ones because the pull of technology is just too strong. If you feel like your partner is distracted when you’re trying to engage them in conversation or ask them something, request that they take a break from whatever form of media it is they’re consuming. Better yet, establish a weekly time to check in with each other and connect — and make that time a strict, no-tech space.
Be an Active Listener Yourself
Everyone knows that in relationships, you have to give to get. The same principle applies when it comes to communication. If you’re the one in the relationship that tunes your partner out and then gets frustrated when they aren’t listening, take a look at your own habits and make sure you’re actively listening.
If you aren’t in a relationship with a naturally good listener (or with someone who has already practiced how to become a better listener!), don’t lose hope. Nobody enters relationships knowing exactly what to do 100% of the time. A healthy, loving relationship takes time and patience. Loving someone is easy, but all of the other things that come with being in a relationship can sometimes be challenging. As long as you and your partner dedicate yourselves to strengthening your marriage, nothing can stop you!