Many couples go months or years without having deep and intimate talks. They live in silence and feel emotionally estranged from the person to whom they have committed themselves. They want the closeness they expected when their relationship began, but they don’t know how to get there. The walls seem to be too high. They long for something magical to happen: that suddenly the barriers will come falling down and they will be able to feel close again. Unfortunately, couples can endure years of silence, and for many, the turnaround never happens. It takes a realization that the relationship needs work. This means taking an honest look at the state of the relationship and a determination to do something about it.
Relationship experts,Layne and Paul Cutright, have developed a structured approach to engage in opeen and effective communication in relationships. In their book, Straight from the Heart, they discuss how to share intimate communication through having Heart-to-Heart Talks™. They identify four types of processes that make up these talks:
Nurturing Processes – Every relationship needs mutual nurturing. Each partner needs to feel cared about. In this phase of the talks, the partners learn how to say things that lead to mental and emotional wellness. This healing energy allows the relationship to begin to flourish.
Clearing Processes – In order to let go of (or clear) your fears and anxieties, it is necessary to talk them through so that you can begin to see new possibilities. It is difficult to see these possibilities when fear prevails. Sharing your fears with another person diminishes their power over you.
Discovery Processes – Talking out loud helps us to achieve a new understanding of a situation. These are things about ourselves that we normally keep hidden, both from others and ourselves. Sharing them with another person allows us to gain new perspectives.
Affirming Processes – Your partner can help you to strengthen your self-esteem and self-respect. Your relationship can become a place where you feel good, whole, and complete.