One of the most valuable traits in marriage is effective communication. The tricky part comes into play when a man and a woman are communicating. Men and women have different styles of communication. Men view communication as a way of problem solving because they are fixers. Women view communication as a way to express feelings, connect, learn, and grow. Women use communication as a way to verbally process as well.
Many of the communication issues I’ve observed, stem from the initial approach. Having an extreme intensity when approaching communication with your partner, especially when triggered, never ends well. If your intensity level is high, your energy will dump onto your partner and you won’t be able to communicate effectively.
In order to communicate effectively I came up with a tool to help couples. I coined the name of this tool T.A.D. Focusing on T.A.D. communication has improved the dynamic of communication and problem solving for my clients.
The T stands for Touch.
Touching your partner’s arm or shoulder is helpful in getting their attention. This gives your partner a physical response that will direct their attention to you.
The A stands for Ask.
Ask your partner when would be a good time to chat. Give them the respect of asking instead of just dumping. Asking is helpful in more ways than one. Men are mostly single focused. Asking them for a good time to chat, offers them the chance to shift gears and give you their full attention. Also, asking for a designated time limit is helpful. Create a realistic time limit for this conversation. Having a time limit helps to stay focused and stay on the specific topic. Just make sure the time limit will honor your purpose.
The D stands for Discuss.
Discuss one issue at a time. It’s hard to problem solve or listen when there are multiple issues being brought up at once. Discuss one issue at a time and save the rest for another day. Men are problem solvers and they want to help you. In order to stay on track, it’s helpful to stay clear on the one conversation. After some time has passed, you can bring up another conversation if needed.
T.A.D. communication has been successful in improving communication for many couples. Taking time to make small shifts in the way you communicate can help improve the way you communicate with your partner. All it takes is shifting things just a T.A.D.
-The Shifting Stepmom
Click here to check out the Stepmom Warrior- Stepfamily Lifeline Services.