Your life partner is that person whom you have committed to sharing the rest of your life with. Today, many relationships in this regard have gone sour simply because they know each other just on the surface. That means they never took time to get to understand who their partners really are as individuals. Concentrating on physical appearances, material possessions, financial well-being, fame or power can be very ephemeral and deceiving, and can rock the ship of relationships in a flash.
Since no one individual is the same with another due to nature and nurture, it becomes imperative for you to take that extra step to understand your partner. Understanding your partner means knowing the values, the aspirations and the priorities of the person. Do you know his/her ‘˜hot’ buttons? Do you know what tickles his/her fancy? What angers or pleases him/her? Can you predict your partner’s action or reaction at any point in time? There is therefore no gain saying that understanding your partner requires an extra effort. Because it is worth doing, the essence of this piece is to share with you some easy, simple steps you can take to making this happen.
Body Language. Body language means non-verbal, usually unconscious communication through postures, gestures, facial expressions and so on. This is a communication that is not expressed but very vital. You need to take interest in your partner and by so doing, you’ll be able to figure out those unexpressed concerns. Look at his/her face, and into his/her eyes and you discover to your chagrin that he or she is ‘˜speaking’ volume.
Verbal Communication. Communication is a two-way street. You talk, I talk. You talk, I respond. William Shakespeare says: There is no art to find the mind’s construction in the face. It is through communication that you can start to begin to understand each other. It is a world of give and take.
Empathetic Listening. You know, listening is much more than hearing verbal sounds. In listening, you make eye contacts. In listening, you want to grab the meaning behind the words so you can respond or react appropriately. If you don’t listen real good, you can talk out-of-point. You can convey a message you never intended. Empathetic listening promotes understanding and ultimately, cements relationships.
Openness. To be open to your partner is to confide in him/her. It is to be able to talk about every aspect of yourself without fear of castigation or rejection. You would have nothing to hide. Openness means telling the truth to your partner about yourself irrespective of what his/her action or reaction will be. This will definitely bring about understanding.
Temperament. Temperament is the combination of mental, physical and emotional traits of a person. It is your natural predisposition. When you know the temperament of your partner, you’ll be in a vantage position to understand his/her character traits, which enhances understanding. This is because you will get to know his/her weaknesses and areas of strength. And by highlighting his/her strengths and down-playing his/her weaknesses, you become the best of friends.
Ask. The Scripture says: ask and you shall be given. To understand your partner, ask. If there is any aspect of his/her life that you do not understand, find out by asking open-ended questions. Through honest answers, you will get to know him/her better.
Tell. Volunteer on certain occasions to tell your partner the story of your life. By so doing, he/she will be getting to understanding you better. Open up! Remember, there ain’t any more difference(s) between you and your partner. You’ve shared and you’re still sharing a lot in common. It’s only better that you understand each other better.
Divorce, in the recent years, has gone on the increase. And that is because life partnersare not patient enough to study each other’s lives. With the above easy ways and a little patience and tolerance, there will be understanding between partners which ultimately, leads to blissful, joyful relationships.