What's the Key to Relationship Success? It Starts With Communication

Relationships take work. After the initial fiery passion stage of a new romance, what holds relationships together is effective and empathic communication. 

 

In sex therapy, couples counseling, and relationship coaching, the first steps often center around improving your communication with yourself and with each other.

 

Here are some helpful articles about relationship communication techniques used in sex therapy and coaching.

Making Time for Each Other

When do you talk about your relationship? If you’re like many couples, the only time you discuss it directly is when you’re arguing. When your defenses are up. When emotions may be clouding your thinking.
The solution is to set aside dedicated time to talk about your hopes and expectations for your relationship. That includes sex stuff as well as relationship topics like emotional needs, finances, children, etc.
 
Want some ideas for strategic relationship communication? Read this article.
Image by Ben White
 
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Benefits of Gratitude

How often do you express appreciation for your partner? How often should you? In relationship coaching we work toward a daily gratitude practice to help people focus on positive attributes instead of being critical.
 
Practicing gratitude can gradually rewire your thought process—making you happier, more tuned in to your partner, more empathic and open to communication. Plus it can enhance your sex life by shifting you into a giving mindset.

But how do you build a healthy gratitude habit? I’m so glad you asked...
 

8 Tips for Better Communication

Forge deeper connections through gratitude and empathy, openness and honesty, strategy and practice.
Stories and how-to guides for building better communication habits with your partner(s) whether or not you also use professional services.
Image by The Creative Exchange
 
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Sex Talk: 3 Mistakes to Avoid

Are you comfortable discussing your fantasies and desires? Masturbation? Turn-ons and turn-offs?
 
We’re culturally conditioned to avoid talking about sex. But that doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
 
Want to start a conversation about your sexual needs? Here’s how to approach the topic and what to avoid.
 

Mirroring Dialogue (Imago)

Though I am not an Imago Relationship Therapy practitioner, I incorporate one of its key components. Couples take turns as Giver (the one who's talking) and Receiver (the one who's actively listening).
This method can be effective for couples working through a difficult problem because it offers communication structure built around empathy and listening. Learn how to practice mirroring dialogue here.
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Decoding Desire Discrepancy

“I’m in the mood but my partner never is” in sex therapy terms is called desire discrepancy. It’s totally normal. Even common. 
 
But that doesn’t make it any less painful.
 
Read more about the causes and origins of desire discrepancy and learn what you can do to tackle this complex issue through clear and direct communication of each other’s desires and emotional needs.
 

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Lipservice: DIY Sex Talk Guide

A couples communication game that ends with sex.

Talk your way through the brain-bed barrier with this free 4-week DIY course in relationship communication, gratitude, desire, and touch.

DIY sex therapy relationship coaching resources