Frames make up our way of viewing the world, and while dealing with people with different frames from ourselves can be frustrating, dating or marrying someone with different frames from our own can be downright infuriating.
When you look at a home and interpret it as a clean and comfortable place to live and your partner views it as a pig-sty it can be a problem. When one partner offer the other space as a form of love and respect and the other perceives the space as indifference, that can too can be a problem.
Many of the biggest issues in a relationship don’t come from real problems at all, they come from how each partner frames or views something in a different way. Many times couples must be willing to learn and examine their partners frames in order to better understand the way they view their world. The world is a reflection of what you believe, so two partners can live in the same world and yet experience vastly different realities.
True understanding of others, whether it be a stranger or the person you love, comes not from interpreting their actions through your ideas of the world, but by viewing the world through their eyes.
Good communication comes from a feeling of comfort and security, it comes from confidence and trust in another person, and most of all it comes from the trust that no matter what you may say, that this person will understand you…
Think about who you feel most comfortable around… Think of a person that you feel you can tell anything to, and 9 times out of 10 you’ll realize that you tell things to this person because they don’t judge you, but rather they listen to your thoughts and feelings and do their best to understand and help if possible.
People don’t like to be judged or told they are wrong, and usually if a person is told that they are wrong, their defenses will spring up immediately. Even if someone really is doing something wrong or hurtful if they have their defenses up, then they won’t be able to see how their behavior is negatively affecting themselves or others.
The way to change someone, the way to increase feelings of bonding, the way to increase communication, trust, and love is through increased understanding; but, understanding is not some superficial thing that we can just manufacture through thought, it only comes through a deep effort to actually understand the way that someone else thinks and feels.
In this way, practicing empathy and truly trying to understand how your partner thinks and feels is one of the best ways to boost your relationship health and the ability of the two of you to communicate.
When your partner knows that you understand them, when they know that they are free from judgement or condemnation, they will be much more likely to share things with you.
People will be conditioned by their repeated experiences so if you always meet someone’s admissions with judgement and a negative interpretation, then they will be less likely to share things with you in the future.
If you want to open up communication with your partner then stop judging, and start asking more questions.
To better understand someone’s frame, you need to understand who they are at a deep core level: what things matter most to them, how were they raised, what types of experiences have they had, how was their childhood?
If you understand these types of things about someone, you will have a much better understanding of who they are and what they believe.
For example: understanding your partner’s childhood upbringing can help you understand that your partner is tight with money because they were raised by parents wrestling with poverty- and its not that they are just cheap and stingy.
To understand someone you need to understand how they think- not just what they do or how they act. It is easy to look at the end result of something and think that something is wrong with them, but if you understand the context and conditions that make them who they are then things start to make a lot more sense.
It is kind of like the old question…is it wrong for a man to steal bread to feed his family?
Of course if someone steals a T.V. then it is wrong, but if he steals bread because he has a starving child at home, is it still just as wrong?
It is far too easy to watch someone do something and just judge their behavior as right or wrong, but it is far more difficult to understand their motives, their thoughts, their ideas, and to really understand why they are doing what they are doing.
Chances are if the person that you love isn’t doing something to hurt you, they are just doing it because that is the way they have always done things. Be patient, try to understand why they do the things that they do and why they are the way that they are. Perhaps all they need is someone to help them understand themselves better so that they can start to change.
Many times we aren’t even aware of why we are the way that we are; having a loved one understand us can help us break free from our own limiting beliefs.
So if you want to become closer, communicate better, and deepen the bond between you and your partner, try looking deep into their past and deep into their mind; ask more questions, really get to know them, try to understand where they came from: doing these things will open their hearts to you and allow them to feel more comfortable while communicating with you.
Of course we can always change, grow, and become different people- but the truth is that not everyone knows and believes this. If you believe that you can’t change, then you will have a very difficult time changing…its just the way it works. You thoughts become your reality.
How have the experiences from your own past shaped you into the person that you are today? What thing matter most to you, to your partner? How does your partner feel about you and your behaviors and why do they feel this way? Understand your partners beliefs and thoughts then you will understand.
If you want more help with your relationship or love life and if you think couples coaching might be helpful then I encourage you to check out my personal coaching packages. Things never get better through inaction, they will only improve with time, effort, and reliable strategies: coaching can help you and your partner start over new!