The number 1 problem in relationships is an inability to communicate. And, the major problem in an inability to communicate is that one or both partners don’t feel heard. Even when things are going well, we often don’t give our full attention to what our partners are saying. But when we get triggered emotionally, we tend to stop listening because we’re preparing our rebuttal. This only makes things worse.
So, just how important listening is in relationships? Think back to when you first started dating. Remember how much you talked. It felt wonderful to have someone listen to you–to pay attention to what you were saying. This was one of the reasons why you fell in love. If listening and being heard with an empathetic, caring, and loving heart made you fall in love, doesn’t it make sense that listening would also help you sustain a loving relationship over time?
Many people are literally starving to be heard–not just by their partner’s ears but also by their compassionate hearts. The question is–how good a listener are you? Do you really pay close attention to what your partner is saying? Are you listening with your head and your heart? Is your partner starving to be heard by you?
One of the greatest gifts and loving acts you can give your partner is to listen to them because it fulfills a very basic human need. If your partner can’t talk to you, they may be tempted to talk to someone else who will listen. If this should happen, it can cause a major problem in your relationship. Our advice is to make a conscious effort to listen to your partner. Plan time to have the kind of conversations you once did when you were dating. And don’t be surprised if you don’t find a new “spark” in your relationship.