We Need to Talk

Robert dreaded when Diane said, “We need to talk.” He knew the conversation was likely to escalate. She criticized him, he then defended himself, and the discussion quickly developed into a fight; eventually he would walk away feeling frustrated. They didn’t have the ability to resolve issues as they emerged, never mind the buildup of issues over the years.

Processing—the ability to talk about issues in a relationship—is probably the most crucial skill that successful couples use. It is the ability to talk about an issue without escalating, so couples can have a better understanding of the issues between them. Sometimes a good conversation is enough to create resolve and sometimes couples need to problem solve to come to resolution. Otherwise negativity creates distance in relationships and the buildup of unresolved issues creates an emotional abyss.

The majority of couples never develop the skill set of processing. Without this skill, couples can be like a sailboat without a sail, being tossed around by tides and currents—not being able to navigate the turbulent times that are inevitable in relationships.

Joy and happiness comes from being able to pilot these challenging moments, enjoying the loving friendship that relationships have to offer.