Sometimes, our partners have different needs and wants than us (okay, maybe it’s a LOT of times!). When those needs and wants are so foreign to us that we don’t even understand them, it can be really hard to empathize or support them through it. Sometimes we just don’t get why this is hard for them, especially if it’s easy for us. Or why that comment was such a big deal; it didn’t feel like a big deal to us, right?
But what we need to remember is this: the most important thing here is not understanding everything our partner tells us — some things are so fundamental and core that they’re impossible to fully explain to someone who doesn’t get it. We don’t have to understand everything they need, or want; we don’t have to understand everything that causes them stress or pain or joy.
What we do need to do is believe them.
If they tell you something upsets them, it really doesn’t matter whether that makes sense to you or not. It might be something you LOVE. Maybe you love roller coasters and they’re afraid of heights. We wouldn’t force them to join us on Splash Mountain, would we? And we wouldn’t expect them to keep us from going on our favorite ride. Even if neither of us really gets it, we believe them. We trust they’re being authentic and we support them accordingly.
So when they tell us something makes them feel unloved, why do we question that so much more?
We don’t need to understand it. We just need to believe them, and act accordingly.
If you’re looking for tools to communicate and support your partner better, join us for the Art & Science of Love conference. Based on over 40 years of research with thousands of couples, The Art and Science of Love workshop will give you new insights and research-based skills that can dramatically improve the intimacy and friendship in your relationship and help you manage conflict in a healthy, positive way. Sign up soon, spots are limited: Click here.