Trouble in paradise?

Just when we all thought we had it all together….  As my friend and co-worker Angie is fond of saying:

“Wedding planning brings out the most in people.” 

(*wink wink*)

tulipsWell, over the last few weeks My Girl and I have certainly seen the *most* in each other– the most cranky, the most conflicted, the most unpredictable, the most outrageous… you get the idea.  Wedding planning can be stressful, even with the best attitude and purely good intentions. 

Try this simple little trick next time you and your sweetie are arguing over plans, big or small:

Sit across from each other knee-to-knee and eye-to-eye.  Hold hands (if you can manage it and neither of you has the propensity to slap the other).  Decide who will be the “Listener” and who will be the “Talker.”  And repeat after me.  Or rather– Listener repeat after the Talker.  It goes like this:

tulips close upThe Talker says what’s on their mind.  Keep it simple, keep it short, and pause often for the Listener to repeat. 

The Listener repeats *verbatim* what they heard and asks:

“Did I get that right?” 

If the Talker answers “yes,” the Listener asks:

“Is there more?” 

(If the Talker answers “no,” the Talker clarifies what was misheard and the Listener repeats and asks again.)

When the Talker has no more to say, the Listener summarizes and then asks:

“Is that a fair summary?” 

Then the Listener ** with compassion and empathy ** says:

(Pay close attention here people!)

angel mom“I can understand how that’s important to you, and why you feel that way.  I love you and I want you to be happy and feel good.”

See how simple that is? 

** Most often when there are conflicts in relationships, it’s because we all get triggered by things we aren’t quite consciously aware of.  And in the end, everyone just wants to be heard and accepted and loved. **

The Grateful Lesbian Bride’s Wedding Planning Tip #3:    Taking 10 minutes to pause, breathe, and “mirror” your sweetheart can go a long way towards happier wedding planning and a healthier future together.

abandon all doubt

For more information on the best tips and tricks for couples communication, see