Just the Tip: When to Bring Up an Issue With Your Relationship
When you have something important to say to your guy, you need to remember just two things:
1. Keep it very simple. Core issue only, no other issues thrown in. Don’t globalize. This is not the time to kill two birds with one stone. One subject at a time, and stick to the issue.
2. Take the emotion out of it. Don’t be snippy or mean or weepy or needy or melancholy or a drama queen. Be even and calm and get right to the point.
If you want to have a real conversation that actually has good results, you have to do these two things. You have to be straightforward and direct. No sniping, no insults, no taking shots at the other person, no hinting, no being so polite that you never actually say anything, no criticism, no getting back at him for something he did yesterday, no tit for tat (but tit on its own might work). It’s not about scoring points or winning or being right. It’s about fixing a problem.
Timing is important, too. Here’s a good breakdown…
When to bring up an issue:
– When you are both calm and in a logical mood.
– When he isn’t obviously busy doing something else, especially working or watching TV.
– When you are in public, to keep it light and avoid a scene (unless that doesn’t work for you). Stay out of earshot of other people. A secluded booth at a restaurant or a park bench is a good option.
When to shut the hell up:
– The minute your partner walks in the door. Give him some transition time.
– When you have PMS. Just stop. Whatever it is, don’t bring it up. You are currently possessed by the devil.
– After sex. This is the time for sweet pillow talk, not problems, especially sexual problems. Never talk about sex while in bed.
– When either of you is angry or emotional. This is really hard to do because this is exactly when you want to start something, but breathe through the strong feelings and try to bring the issue up later when you are calm.
This is an excerpt from I Suck at Relationships So You Don’t Have To: 10 Rules for Not Screwing Up Your Happily Ever After by Bethenny Frankel, available on Amazon.com.