(Eddy Brame & Marty Crouch – From the Marriage Coach)

  • I love you. – Timeless, no need for elaboration; say it in dozens of ways, ways that you have learned that your partner hears.
  • I’m sorry, I made a mistake. – Nobody gets it right all the time. It takes maturity to admit my mistakes. Admitting I made a mistake does not mean that I am a mistake.
  • I hear you saying … – Listening. If I’m not, then I can’t fill in the … When I listen well I become a mirror for my partner.
  • You make sense to me because … – Validation. Add this to listening and your partner will really feel heard and understood.
  • I imagine that you must feel … Is that how you feel? – Empathy. When I get how my partner is feeling, then we relate at a heart-level, not just at a head-level.
  • What I really appreciate about you is … – Acknowledge my partner for being, not just doing.
  • Thank you for … – Appreciation for doing, for giving, for understanding. So often we focus on what’s missing rather than what’s present. What we focus on expands.
  • Would you please …? – It’s my job to communicate my wants to my partner. Expecting my partner to mind read, or thinking “If he loved me, he would know what I want.” is a setup for experiencing frustration.
  • I’m feeling … – It’s still important to share my feelings. Noticing and reporting my body sensations is part of telling the truth.
  • I forgive you for … – Any partner will eventually disappoint me. Holding onto a resentment drains my energy, creates distance, hurts me worse than my partner. Incompletions (unforgiveness) in my life affects all my relationships adversely.

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