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Connect!

Loving Communication for Couples

6-Week Course from Home

I coached a couple recently, Alia and Nick. Their conversation went something like this:

 

Nick: We’re pretty stressed out. We get into arguments about I don’t even know what. We just can’t seem to communicate. I don’t know what to do anymore.

 

Alia: I’ve really been trying to be patient, but it’s so hard because I feel like whenever I try to tell you how I feel, you get mad at me.

 

Nick: Me getting mad?? You’re the one who gets mad and blows everything out of proportion! If we could just have a calm conversation, but that never works with you.

 

Alia: I work brutal hours, my job is way more stressful than yours, and you know that. When I come home, I’m wiped out. And then I see all your stuff all over the dining table; it’s covered with your papers, and if I don’t clean it up, it just stays there. You don’t even have to go to the office; can you at least just clean up after yourself!?

 

Nick: I have to work on that table, there’s not enough room in the office. What’s the big deal, it’s just a few folders. It’s not even about my folders; it’s about you shutting yourself off and disappearing in your phone and we never have any time for fun or intimacy.

 

Alia: How do you expect to be intimate with me when you’re so unavailable!? You never actually listen to what I’m telling you. Do you even care how I feel?

Can you relate? Does it ever sound like that when you and your partner talk to each other?

Couples tell us communication is the
#1 issue in their relationship

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When couples call us for relationship support, communication is the most common issue they need help with. Many of them say it's the #1 problem in their relationship.

 

Think about your own relationship. What happens when your communication doesn’t work? Perhaps you’ll recognize yourself in what couples have told us over the years.

 

Couples tell us that when they can’t communicate with their partner they …

 

  • Fight and argue.

  • Isolate themselves.

  • Get snippy and sarcastic.

  • Give the silent treatment.

  • Turn away from one another.

  • Lose trust.

  • Get lost in I-said-you-said volleys.

  • Can’t reach agreement.

  • Give up and stop trying.

It’s very disheartening and exhausting when you can’t communicate like loving partners. Worst of all, it doesn’t take long before poor communication begins to be felt in your level of connectedness. You start to feel on edge with each other, tiptoeing on eggshells so you won’t set off the next explosion. You protect yourselves and pull away from each other (like Nick and Alia above).

 

This is a dangerous spot in a marriage or long-term relationship, because your very foundation is your love, connection, and trust. None of us can afford our foundation of connection to erode over time, at least not if we want to keep our relationships healthy and happy.

 

You might even begin to despair if your communication has been suffering for a while and you can’t make improvements. Instead, we recommend you use your frustration to motivate yourself to make changes! We’d even suggest you have some compassion for yourself and your partner, because it’s not just you who’s struggling with communication. It’s pretty much every couple! (sure, there are some naturally gifted communication geniuses out there. I’m not one of them. I had to learn, too).

At the root of communication is our desire to connect and build a bridge to our partner.

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One of the reasons it’s so tricky to improve your communication is that it’s not just about learning the right words to say.

 

Communication is logical AND emotional. You have to use effective communication techniques AND you have to make an emotional connection. If you don’t make an emotional connection, or the emotional connection is disturbed, you can talk all you want, with the best tools in the world, and it still won’t land.

 

The bridge of the emotional connection is what makes is possible to peacefully discuss all the practical information that’s required to survive and run a modern life, like who picks up the kids and when; how we get food; how to sign up for health insurance, etc. The emotional connection is absolutely essential if you want to have difficult conversations about disagreements, intimacy, boundaries, needs, or any other important relationship talk.

Communication breakdown

Watch a quick video of us trying to communicate but quickly getting defensive, critical and disconnected.

Watching this brief interchange, you can probably recognize that this communication simply isn't working. Rationally, you know it doesn’t work to get defensive or angry. You know it doesn’t work to say, “You’re the one who …” 

 

But in the moment, you do it anyway. This is why successful communication requires an emotional connection AND good communication techniques. It’s the only way to effectively communicate as loving, civilized partners.

Now, watch how it goes when we use good communication and foster emotional connection:

Connected communication

Watch how it goes when we use effective communication tools and foster emotional connection.

Thousands of couples have told us they long for peaceful, loving, effective communication

Image by Gus Moretta

What do you think about our communication in the video?

 

Would if feel good to you if your communications went like that? Would you like to hold space for each other, explore with curiosity, and really listen? Would you feel safe and stay open if your partner stayed present without reacting defensively? Would you be more inclined to explore your own role, take responsibility, and apologize for mistakes if you stayed emotionally connected?

 

Thousands of couples have told us they long for peaceful, loving, effective communication. It is because of this longing that we designed this six-week course, Connect! Loving Communication For Couples (in the short clip above, we use a host of different approaches that you’ll learn in the course.)

 

Full disclosure, this is not an add-water-instant-fix to all your communication difficulties. It takes effort and a willingness to try out new tools and ideas, and maybe stretching yourself a bit beyond your current comfort zone.

Connect!

Loving Communication for Couples

6-week course from home

Between the two us, we have over 40 years experience coaching and educating couples. We are constantly refining and adjusting the tools to work better. This course is a step-by-step process designed for busy couples to get cutting-edge insights and techniques without needing to book a hotel room or break the bank.

 

Some of the highlights of what you’ll learn:
 

  • How to make an emotional connection (the prerequisite for successful communication)

  • How to modify or avoid triggers that keep you from listening

  • How to stay in the moment as you communicate

  • How to access vulnerable communication and hold space for your partner to do so

  • How to move yourself from anger to love and appreciation

  • How to clean up mistakes and make effective apologies.

  • Plus, specific step-by-step communication tools to accomplish all this.

 

Below you can read a bit more about what you’ll learn in each of the six classes.

You can also contact us if you have any questions about the course. Use the Chat button (bottom right) for quicker response time.

What's in the course

We’ve made it as simple and easy to do as possible. Each week for 6 weeks, we meet for 90 minutes via Zoom. In each session, we’ll teach core insights and techniques, and you practice with your partner at home, with our guidance.

 

You will receive all the tools and techniques you learn as written PDF documents. You will get recordings of the classes and can access it as long as you like.

 

Each week, we’ll give you a few key practices to experiment with. That’s it. There are no books or academic texts to read; no extra videos to watch; no essays to write. There’s no test at the end, just the two of you doing your best to connect and try on new tools.

 

You’ll get personal coaching and guidance from Sonika and Christian. During the course, you can text or email us any questions you have.

 

The course is $495 per couple.

 

(The same teaching in private coaching would be $1800).

Class Overview

Class 1

Connection

For effective communication to happen, you need a secure, loving bond with your partner, i.e. connection. In this class, you’ll learn:

  • How to connect with, and draw out, the best of your partner and yourself.

  • Why your spoken words have so much power.

  • How to use appreciation and visualization techniques to make a strong, loving bond.

  • Positive communication tools.

Class 2

Triggers

When you get triggered, your connection gets severed or impaired, and so does your ability to communicate openly and kindly. So it’s essential to have effective skills to deal with and overcome triggers. In this class, you’ll learn:

  • A simple model to understand your triggers.

  • How to communicate responsibly when you're angry or hurt.

  • To listen to your partner when he or she is upset.

  • How to soften or remove your triggers.

Class 3

Vulnerable Communication

It’s so easy to get lost in the weeds of blame and finger pointing. To move past blame and foster openhearted communication, we need to return to the present moment and dare to communicate vulnerably and responsibly. In this class you’ll learn:

  • How to speak your truth in the moment.

  • To be present to what’s happening right now.

  • How to take responsibility for your communication.

  • A beautiful technique to connect with the vulnerable side of your partner and yourself, and how to use this in your communication.

Class 4

Love Ladder

It’s when we feel angry, depressed, or freaked out that we do the most damage in communication. To maintain the open, loving bond with your partner, even when you get mad, you need a way to move from the intense emotion of anger (or the deadness of depression), back to love and understanding. In this class you’ll learn:

  • To communicate responsibly even when you’re angry, scared, or depressed.

  • A step-by-step technique from anger to love.

  • An effective method for applying empathy, stepping into your partner’s world.

Class 5

Repair

No one is beyond making mistakes. Even loving partners will at times hurt each other or do something thoughtless. So it’s absolutely mandatory to be able to repair hurts and bounce back from mistakes. In this class, you’ll learn:

  • To clean up mistakes and move on.

  • Our step-by-step process for making an apology that works (not just, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to”).

  • Taking responsibility for your actions.

  • How to ask for an apology.

Class 6

Direct, Loving Communication

When communication breaks down, we talk about all the things we’re unhappy about in the (unrealistic) hopes that our partner will magically change. But it’s much more effective to communicate directly about what we want and need. In this class you’ll learn:

 

  • How to end complaining.

  • How to make direct requests for what you want.

  • To recognize the hidden ways you both try to make connection.

  • Easy, direct ways to make each other feel loved and seen.

  • A simple technique to learn each other’s love strategy (i.e. a shortcut to connected communication).

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