The One Question To Ask Your Partner

Dr. Victoria Raymond, Ph.D., LMFT, a Lotus Counseling psychotherapist, shares her blog on relationships.

“What can I do for you?”
Six magical words that can change the course of a conversation, a day, and sometimes a relationship.

We all go through our lives hustling. Spending hours of our days at work, scheduling and planning for our kids (of the human or furry variety!), attempting to keep some sense of balance, and oftentimes being pulled in multiple different directions.

But I’m not going to tell you to breathe, to take time for yourself, to value your own needs, to listen to your body when you’re running out of fumes (although you should do all of these things); this blog is not about stress management. I’m here to talk about the impact that all of this has on your relationship. When you’ve had an especially crazy day, and you get home to your partner, and you’re irritated, flustered, and probably hungry.
The majority of us, at some point or another, have taken our frustrations and stresses out on our partner - the person we willingly chose to be with and to love.

We’ve neglected to see that our partners have likely also had a pretty full day... whether he/she is managing a challenging job, a challenging toddler, or a challenging mother-in-law.

So if you hear your partner complaining about being tired and overwhelmed, or just venting about a difficult moment in his or her day - ask “what can I do for you?”

And if your partner is the strong and silent type, but you notice their exhaustion or the stress is written all over their face - ask “what can I do for you?”

The answer might be something like.. just listen to me vent, order in some dinner, give me a hug, or go for a walk with me.

When I work with clients, I see how hard we are all trying to make our relationships a priority - when life sometimes makes that difficult to do. And more often than not, we have no idea what our partner really needs, we don’t speak the same love languages. So, let’s get into the habit of asking... “what can I do for you?” And hopefully our partners will ask us back.

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