I have to be candid here, most of my Couples Counselling clients are wrong.
You see, just about every couple that walks through my door tells me that where they’re going wrong is with their communication.
But, generally speaking, that’s not the issue.
The absolute bedrock of relationships, all relationships, is trust (or as I call it ‘Safety’).
No, I’m not necessarily talking infidelity, I’m talking just that ability to be able to trust what the person is saying, and what their motivations are.
I often liken it to going skydiving for the first time. Would you be able to enjoy the experience if you noticed the harness straps were frayed and tatty?
What about if the instructor looked like he or she has had a few drinks the morning of your jump?
If you don’t trust the person and the equipment, how can you relax (well, as much as you possibly could jumping out of a plane!) and enjoy the experience?
If you don’t trust someone (don’t feel safe), how can you enjoy the relationship?
Going back to our old friend communication…you can have all the communication in the World, but if you don’t trust what you’re hearing it’s probably not quality communication.
How do we build trust? By always acting in a trustworthy manner.
Further to all this, if you truly trust your partner you will be able to bring information to them without having to worry about the repercussions.
When you trust someone you’re more likely to be totally open and honest, you can be vulnerable.
Now isn’t that the type of open and healthy communication that you’re really looking for?
How do we build an awesome relationship? Here’s how I believe it works:
- Trust – if you trust the other person (and they trust you) you can move ahead to communication.
- Communication – Open, honest, calm, and with good intentions, this allows you to move to number 3.
- Collaboration and Problem-Solving – If you have trust and communication, you can most likely find a solution to any problem. Tick these three boxes and you can move to number 4.
- Gratitude – If you have a relationship that ticks boxes 1, 2, and 3, you will most likely be happy and satisfied, you will be thankful for the forces that gave you this terrific partner.
- Intimacy – Two people that can be totally comfortable and open with each other.
Like building a house, get the foundations right, and pretty much everything else works out well.