I have to tell you about my client, Katie.
She came to me wanting to stop arguing so much with her partner. She believed her partner was way too permissive with her stepdaughter. She felt her partner was too emotional and difficult to talk to.
They spent a lot of time yelling. Slamming doors. Walking away from each other.
At first she was convinced her partner had to change in order for her marriage to work better.
And I get it. It’s very easy to think that if the other person would change, things would be better. But this is a losing battle. Because it’s so hard to change other people, and changing ourselves in comparison is relatively easy. And ultimately, we only have control over ourselves.
Through our work together, I taught her exactly how to communicate more calmly and effectively with her partner. I showed her not just what to say, but how to say it with more calmness, love, and understanding.
And guess what?
They are no longer arguing as much as they used to. Katie is less irritable and less reactive. She notices herself listening to her partner more, and really understanding her point of view. The change in Katie’s demeanor in turn helps her partner be less defensive, calmer, more loving.
And ultimately, these changes have led to more productive and authentic conversations that actually build intimacy.
Katie isn’t a magic unicorn. She just wanted something better and was willing to change. Now she gets to enjoy the benefits of a less argumentative and stronger marriage.
And here’s the best part. What Katie has, you can have too – it simply starts with the desire for a better marriage and a willingness to change. Anybody can do this.