As most of us would agree. the challenge of consistency is one of the keys to developing any new skill. Whether it be sports, eating healthily, learning to use the computer, or communicating with your spouse, you must practice regularly until the skill becomes an integrated part of your life. Most skills do not come easily to most of us and it is not uncommon to give up or decide that we can't really succeed or it is a skill that is not too important. However, i think most of us would acknowledge that talking with our partner in an effective manner is a skill that is worth learning.
What can you do to overcome the challenge of consistency in speaking with and listening to your partner?
1) Speak with your partner about making a commitment to holding "The Couple's Conversation" at least once a week for three months. Recognize that it may be difficult and it is important that you support each other and keep your eye on the goal as you face the inevitable discomfort that comes with developing any new skill.
2) Read the blogs that i have written on this topic together and discuss them with one another before you start.
3) Set aside a certain time(no more than half an hour) each week with a back-up plan in case there is a legitimate reason to have to change the time.
4) Support and encourage each other after each session and look for the progress as well as the areas that may need more attention.
5) Do not criticize each other even if it goes poorly, but rather talk about the difficulty in staying with something that may be challenging or painful.
6) If you are running into stumbling blocks that you cannot overcome, set up a consultation with a therapist who specializes in this type of work.
7) Do not give into your own or your partner's desires to stop talking even when "The Conversation" goes poorly.
8) Remind each other that much of life that is worth while takes true effort.
9) Try to end each session with a heartfelt hug and kiss.