How Much Do You Get Your Partner?

Communicate, Connect, Enjoy!










The majority of the couples that want to improve their relationship identify that communication is an issue for them. They share how they can’t see eye-to-eye, convey their feelings and perspective, or understand each other. They report they end up fighting every time they try to address something not being able to resolve disagreements or being delayed in making decisions because they can’t get on the same page with their partner.

The lack of communication means struggling day in and day out in their relationship. Some partners choose to go it alone when making decisions or addressing needs to avoid disagreements and disappointment. Partners that avoid conflict end up having a very distant and lonely relationship. On the other hand, partners that are not avoidant are at risk of escalating disagreements that threaten their emotional, and even their physical, safety or the relationship itself. Either way, this lack of skill is detrimental to their well-being, their relationship and their quality of life.

The goal of good communication is to show your partner you “get them” so you can connect, get on the same page and smoothly go about running your life. This includes three key elements:

Reflection – Show your partner you hear what they are saying by repeating what you hear without interpreting the meaning, reading between the lines, assigning motivation, or adding your own perspective or information to it.

Validation – Show your partner you understand their perspective and how their experience makes sense giving who they are.

Empathy – Show your partner you understand their feelings, their emotional state around their perspective.

Note, that within the relationship one partner tends to be the distancer (aka, the underfunctioner) and the other the pursuer (aka, the overfunctioner) even though the relationship itself picked up a pattern or theme (avoidant or conflictual). Regardless of the relationship theme, it is important that each partner stretches their own style to reduce the polarization that maintains the status quo. Identify your style below and implement the approach described to address what you contribute to the patterns that are keeping you stuck.

Distancer (passive) – Take a Risk. Make a commitment to mindfully share your thoughts, preferences, and wishes. Express yourself in a non-threatening or challenging way. Share your internal world (remember, your partner does not need to know everything, but do open up!). Share developments, actions and decisions made in the recent past. Share dreams, goals, and plans. Share from a place of sharing and having a voice, not from a place of rebelling or punishing…

Pursuer (aggressive) – Take it Easy. Make a commitment to give it a rest and to give your partner a break. Learn when to stop before things go to far. Invite your partner into discussions instead of blindsiding them. Prepare yourself for your chat so you are grounded and patient, less reactive. Learn to wait until you’ve calmed down to address things that bother you, or to resume a discussion that went array. Address your needs by speaking about yourself, not about your partner, and not to control, manipulate or convince…

Therefore to crack the communication and connection impasse immediately, approach your partner by Taking a Risk or Taking it Easy depending on your identified needed stretch, and by responding to them using the Three Key Communication Elements. Be magnificent this way! When you stick to these parameters miraculous things happen in your relationship. Implement this without reservation. Make a full commitment to making this your default setting in your relating. Take a no excuses approach to making this your new way of being in your relationship. When you are magnificent, your relationship is magnificent!

Happy Getting Each Other!


~ Your MetroRelationship (sm) Assignment

Choose a weekly time slot with your partner where you each get to responsibly, positively, mindfully, and lovingly open up about your experiences with each other in the relationship, and in your individual worlds.

Make this is safe and enjoyable appointment. Discuss the rules of engagement when you choose the time, and add a special touch to make this a positive relationship ritual: take turns bringing a treat, set up the space with nice ambiance, choose a relaxing regular spot, etc.

Gift your relationship with special dedicated time each week!

~ Share Your Thoughts & Successes!

Take a moment now to share below any thoughts, comments, take away, tips, and successes! PLEASE post a comment now – we grow in community!

Thanks for connecting with the MetroRelationship (sm) Family!


Copyright (c) 2014 Emma K. Viglucci. All rights reserved.


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Emma K. Viglucci is the Founder and Director of Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC, a private practice that specializes in working with couples, is the creator of the MetroRelationship™ philosophy and a variety of Successful Couples ™ programs and products that assist couples succeed at their relationship and life. To get your downloadable relationship enrichment insights and receive her weekly successful couples articles, nurturing nuggets (sm) and other resources visit:


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About Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT (Metropolitan MFT)

I'm the Founder and Director of Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC (Metropolitan MFT), a private psychotherapy practice specializing in working with couples. I help couples succeed at their relationship by assisting them get on the same page and deeply understand each other, repair hurts, create intimacy, stay connected, share passion, and tap into their synergy. I specialize in pre-marital, codependence, reactivity / anger, and infidelity work.
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8 Responses to How Much Do You Get Your Partner?

  1. Kelley says:

    Love this post Emma and the encouragement of mindful communication with reflection, validation and empathy. I like the suggestion of planning time each week to discuss your experience in the relationship. Too often when one partner brings up a concern, the other shares one without completing the steps above and an impasse can occur with no one feeling validated. I think that is why some people avoid discussing issues at all. I like the idea of regular checkins and focussing on compassion!

  2. Lilia Lee says:

    I don’t get my husband at all. He comes from a place that is like being in a foreign country, speaking different languages.
    Yet over the years, we’ve both come to realize that we want to be in this relationship and we’ve both got to come to a safe-harbor place in order to make it work.
    Thank you for writing about this.

  3. laura says:

    Oh yes, Emma!!!
    I love how you say “connection impasse” and it’s important, as you say, to get over that roadblock ~ not barrel through it but gently and with compassion and understanding!!!
    Awesome post and insight ~ we’ve done this till recently when one of our elder-parents has needed much time from us for recovery from an illness. And it is more apparent than ever that that time is critical for us!!! Grateful to be getting it back soon 🙂

  4. Nancy says:

    These tips are great for every important relationship. I recently had a weird misunderstanding with a friend where our roles of distancer and pursuer really showed up! It confused me and hurt my feelings, but I now see how it was my misunderstanding of how she processes these kinds of misunderstandings.
    Great stuff!

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