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Why should we encourage our partner to speak?

December 7, 2011

Here’s a great idea …

In his book, Beyond the Myth of Marital Happiness, Blaine Fowers says, “Encouraging your partner to speak is an act of generosity because it is a gift of your attention and interest. When you listen attentively, you are granting that your spouse has something worthwhile to say.” (p. 107)

In other words …

Sometimes during a conversation, we become more focused on what we are going to say next rather than listening to our partner. This sends the message that what they have to say is not important to us. If we instead take time to really listen, we show our partners that what they have to say matters to us.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life …

The next time you have a conversation with your partner, make a special effort to listen to what he or she has to say. Tune out potential distractions. Encourage your partner to tell you more. Find out how they think and feel about things.

To find out more…

about couple relationships, check out The Marriage Garden program at arfamilies.org, follow us at facebook.com/navigatinglife or contact your local county Extension agent. You can also read Fower’s book Beyond the Myth of Marital Happiness.

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