Keeping the passion high in any relationship depends a lot on how safe you make it for your partner to say the truth to you. We like to say we want to hear the truth, “even if it hurts us,” but actually we often act in ways that make it difficult or even impossible to do that.

If you tend to cut off or interrupt your partner when they are talking, they may feel you don’t care what they have to say. If you are always very neutral in your expression and your response, they may feel you feel their ideas are unimportant, or boring.

You may be sending these messages without intending to – and stifling the vibrant intimacy that you want most to keep strong in the relationship.

So, how can you make a safe space for your partner to share difficult or emotional messages with you? Let’s look at an example.

Yesterday I worked with a couple, I call them Lucy and Jonathon, who had trouble communicating. Jonathon was convinced that Lucy was lying to him. After the session, he realized that she avoided telling him clearly what she needed because he was argumentative and constantly interrupting her. There was no real deception in the marriage, just a breakdown in communication, an inability to talk about a real need that Lucy had, exacerbated by Jonathon’s inability to listen.

I asked Lucy to tell Jonathan what was difficult to express. She was discouraged and asked me to help them communicate better. I asked them to give me an example of a case where she does not feel understood.

What came out of the session clearly was that Jonathon was argumentative and interrupted Lucy anytime he had a different opinion from hers. He was not able to let her finish expressing fully what she wanted. He jumped to conclusions too soon.

He was convinced that she was saying the same thing he often heard before. According to him she was just using different words to repeat the usual complaints…

“I wish I could express what I feel so that he gets to know the new me and we can grow together, ” Lucy said, exasperated.

Invited to help by both Jonathon and Lucy, I helped Jonathan to be open to fully listening to what Lucy was saying NOW, and I coached Lucy to be less wordy and clearer when she was talking with Jonathan.

It worked. Lucy felt heard, and Jonathan got to know a new part of her he had never let himself see.

Are you making it safe for your lover to tell you the truth?

If you want your lover to be honest with you it is essential that you make it safe for them to open up to you. Love blooms when you are authentic and open. And remember: it takes two to tango. When your lover is expressing something controversial are you:

• open-minded, and nonjudgmental and curious to find out more about why they think that way?
• controlling yourself enough to wait until they are finished talking about the problem, instead of interrupting them to tell them “the right way to think”?
• holding off jumping to conclusions?
• interested enough to ask your partner to clarify some of the things you don’t fully understand?

When you allow the space for communication to be clear your partner will be more open to speak the truth.

When communication works, the spark of EROS is re-ignited and burning bright.

Author's Bio: 

Carla Tara is an internationally-acclaimed teacher of Tantra, who masterfully integrates a variety of tantric approaches with body-oriented psychotherapy. She has studied with Eastern masters and Western teachers. Her background as a yoga teacher, psychotherapist, dancer, and relationship counselor contributes to the strength and creativity of her work as a coach to both individuals and couples.