Last week, I talked about a technique that IMAGO therapy creators Harville and Helen Hendrix use to keep negativity out of their relationship, and this week I’d like to go into another practice that the couple promote—being in a “state of curiosity” with your partner.
What does that mean? Well, it doesn’t mean that you should snoop through your partner’s personal possessions or ask leading questions to get them to admit to wrongdoing – do that and you’ll definitely need a relationship therapist. This curiosity is much more positive. Harville Hendrix suggests that you need to take time every day to actively listen to your partner and ask questions about their day to encourage them to share.
Why is Curiosity Important?
Although all couples are different, many partners spend a lot of time away from each other during the week due to work or other obligations. Even when they’re both home, they likely still have responsibilities that occupy their minds and time, and their relationship may be put on the back burner all too frequently.
By taking time every day to be curious about your partner, you bring your relationship back to the forefront and make your partner feel cared for. Listening to your partner talk about their day also allows you to share in experiences that you may not have been able to be present for. Maybe your partner had a really stressful day at work, or maybe they recently received high praise from their boss—whether their day was good or bad, you should make an effort to share in it.
How to Stay Curious About Your Partner
Some partners may at first find getting into this daily “state of curiosity” easier said than done—when you have a lot on your mind, you may find it difficult to be a good active listener. You could always schedule time to come into Houston marriage counseling so that you and your partner have a set time to focus on one another, but not everyone needs a mediator.
Here’s how to become a good active listener in your own home. The most important thing to do is to remove distractions. Half-listening to your partner while you’re watching TV or picking up the living room isn’t going to cut it. Make sure you set aside at least a little time each day when you and your partner can be by yourselves, free from all distractions, and really listen to what the other person has to say. Ask questions when appropriate, but mostly just let your partner get their thoughts off their chest, then take a turn to talk about yourself while your partner listens. You may be surprised how much you’ll learn about your partner and how much excitement this kind of curiosity can bring back into your relationship. To learn more or schedule a session with the Houston relationship counselor, contact me today.