Many partners wonder how they can discuss their partner’s behavior – and how they can tackle this. In this article, we’ll look at how to approach your partner. It matters whether you want practical changes (roommates) or wants the other person to respond more to your feelings (intimate friends). We start with your need for proximity. How can you make this known without reproach?
Some relationship help books say you shouldn’t criticize your partner at all. So don’t try to change him through a conversation. They recommend that you only emphasize the positive in your partner and let him know as much as possible that you are satisfied.
That requires a fair amount of effort – especially if someone else is involved – but it works, they say plainly. Your partner will also like you again, and it will be nice between you again. Thinking positively about yourself and your partner is the secret.
It is said that you scare your partner off if you say plainly what is on your mind. If you want your partner to tell you more about his experience, you have to tempt him to do so subtly.
If necessary, start telling yourself about your intimate needs, then the other person will also come with his story. This approach requires that you approach your partner with velvet gloves. If you want to get something from him, you have to play it smart – love is a sophisticated game.
Take a risk
We think differently about this. Grumbling at your partner doesn’t work; we think that’s just as well. We also do not give you a license to throw your frustrations over the other person simply. But the reverse: acting purely positively and giving compliments is ultimately not what it’s about. If you leave it at that, you end up with a diplomatic marriage: you treat each other too carefully.
Compliments or thoughtful comments help improve the atmosphere, which makes you less opposed to each other. Expressing appreciation can then be a first step on the way, but it is not the end goal.
You also need to be able to talk about the pain points in your relationship. True intimacy only comes about when you can admit in a non-hostile way that you sometimes have a hard time with each other. This makes the partner contact more open and honest. Those who want to keep it cozy keep dealing superficially with each other.
Ask for an honest conversation
Our advice to appoint where things have been difficult for some time is, therefore, to start a conversation openly and respectfully. Of course, this is not easy. If it were easy, you would have done it by now. But it will pay you off in the end. You don’t have to seduce your partner to do what you need. You can ask for time and openness from him. Say you want to talk candidly.
It could be that your partner is constantly avoiding such conversations or that the discussions between you keep getting derailed. If you want to talk calmly and honestly and your partner is not willing to do this, then after a while, you will come to the following choice:
- the lack of intimacy >> accepting within your relationship
- continue with the condition that your relationship deepens
- decide to stop
Accept your partner
With the first option, you choose to maintain the relationship at all costs. Even if it no longer meets your need for intimacy. You can choose to accept this. You may be afraid of getting a divorce because it means living alone again or having little money. Or because it seems better for the children to stay together. We accept that choice. If you do, however, you must give up hope for shared intimacy. Try to accept your partner and find a manner that you can live with. Enjoy the beautiful moments. Don’t make impossible demands on your partner and appreciate what is there.
Deepen your relationship
If you choose to deepen your relationship, the answer to the question is, “Can you ask your partner to change?” resounding: ‘Yes. At least: if you mean by this that you appeal to his willingness to talk. You can express your desire for more intimacy and make room for his response to this.
Something has to change in your contact – because you become depressed, for example. If the other party systematically ignores your feelings about this, the last option comes into play. It then talks or stops. If you don’t demand this from your partner, you’re not taking your own needs seriously.
Be aware of each other
You can address your partner and express your need for intimacy. However, living together encounters another aspect: the partner is also a housemate. In this regard, you can ask whether he takes your wishes into account. If you run a joint household, you make agreements about this, or habits arise. You can negotiate again and again about how you divide the tasks.
It is fair that you respond to the lifestyle of the other to a reasonable extent. You ask that of your colleagues, and you can also throw that on the table with your partner.
Don’t change his personality
However, you cannot require him to change his personality. Here’s the answer to the question, “Can I ask my partner to change?” so no’. In other words, you can ask if he changes his behavior, but if this behavior is deeply connected to how he wants to be, then hope he doesn’t change it. Otherwise, he would deny himself.
There are oddities that you have to accept. Your partner can do his best, but not prevent him from being more expressive, spontaneous, thoughtful, sensitive, profound, or superficial than he is. As a partner, you can develop yourself.
You can become more attentive to the needs of the other person. But keep responding from your individuality; there is such a thing as ‘nature of the beast.’
The distinction between what you do and who you are is not always so clear. Sometimes partners cannot distinguish between the intercourse as roommates and the encounter between two different personalities.
There are two pitfalls:
- Making unachievable promises. If your partner asks you to take him into account, see if you can support this on your own. You may recognize that you are a bit sloppy and do your best to pay attention to this. But don’t adapt too quickly if you know that you tend to adjust yourself.
- That’s just the way I am. The other extreme is the partner, who casually states, ‘that’s just the way he is when his partner demands more effort for the household. Or something else that no one cares about. No person has the idea that his life’s purpose is to clean the toilet. The just-am-I-partner avoids the other’s claim on him as a roommate. He claims a unique position because he is a special person, he thinks. In the meantime, the opposing team is working its way around. Friction arises, as happens in work situations. When life partners do not take sufficient account of each other, this affects the intimate aspect of the relationship. Bad table mates are not good bed partners.