WRITTEN BY Felicia Kashevaroff

7 Secrets to Helping Your Partner Understand What Matters to You

We get bombarded with messages about marriage and long-term relationships. We’re told that marriage is HARD and you’ve got to WORK at it all the time, like your relationship is this fragile thing that could crumble at any moment.

7 secrets to establish a more joyful, connected relationship and understanding partner
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But it’s not marriage itself that’s the problem. It’s life. Life is hard. Marriage and relationships don’t have to be. 

If you’re able to find ways to counteract life’s challenges and really show up for your partner, your relationship can be a joy. It can be your escape from the madness and chaos, your comfort and solace during all the hard stuff.

But that’s hard to do. We live in a world where priorities constantly shift, and demands are never-ending. In that environment, nurturing a strong and understanding partnership can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. When all life’s challenges consume you, it’s difficult to get out of your head and tune into your partner’s needs.  

As a relationship equity coach, I’ve witnessed firsthand the transformative power of mutual understanding between partners. Your relationship flourishes when both of you actively strive to comprehend each other’s needs and values.

Watch Felicia talking through all the 7 Secrets of attaining understanding partnership

Today, I want to share seven powerful secrets to help you guide your partner toward a deeper understanding of what truly matters to you. By implementing these strategies, you’ll lay the groundwork for a more joyful, connected, understanding partner.

1. Lead by Example

Actions speak louder than words. If you want your partner to understand what matters to you, lead by example. Demonstrate your commitment to their well-being by actively engaging in activities that are meaningful to them. Ask them about their interests and LISTEN to what they say. If they bring a concern to you, don’t get defensive. Practice curiosity and learn more about what’s causing their frustration. Make active efforts to integrate that knowledge. Show them through your actions that their happiness and fulfillment are a priority in your life.

2. Communicate Openly

The cornerstone of any successful relationship is open and honest communication. To foster understanding, create a safe space where both partners feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and feelings. Carve out time to have meaningful conversations and make sure your partner is prepared and ready to engage. Practice active listening and refrain from judgment or criticism. When your partner feels heard and respected, they’ll be more inclined to become a more understanding partner themselves.

3. Be Understanding Partners

Understanding goes both ways. Take the time to empathize with your partner’s point of view. Put yourself in their shoes and try to see the world through their eyes. Cultivate patience and empathy as you navigate the complexities of your relationship. Be willing to give your partner the time and space they need to comprehend your perspective. By acknowledging and validating their feelings, you each create a nurturing environment where mutual understanding can thrive. Practice doing this even if you disagree!

4. Celebrate Your Individual Hopes and Dreams

No two individuals are alike, and that’s what makes relationships so rich and rewarding. Instead of viewing individuality as an obstacle, celebrate it as an opportunity for growth and learning. The happiest, most successful couples support each other’s hopes and dreams. You should be a reliable and enthusiastic cheerleader for your partner, and your partner needs to be one for you, too! Embrace the unique qualities that make your partner who they are, and encourage them to do the same for you. And don’t just talk about it. Make space for each of you to act on those hopes and dreams. Understanding flourishes in an environment of acceptance and celebration.

5. Express Yourself Clearly

Your partner isn’t a mind reader, and you aren’t either. Instead of dropping hints or expecting them to decipher your subtle cues, clearly articulate what matters to you. You might want more one-on-one time together or to have your contributions around the house seen and acknowledged. Being upfront about your needs and desires paves the way for an understanding partnership. But this isn’t always easy to do. If you’re looking for a template that can help you listen and receive with compassion, I highly recommend exploring Nonviolent Communication.

6. Get Clear on Your Values

Living according to your core values is the first step to a life of meaning and authenticity. By understanding your partner’s values and how they align with your own, you have the opportunity to discover who they truly are as a person. You may learn some important things about yourself along the way, too! It can be exciting to learn where you and your partner overlap and where you diverge. Remember that every value your partner holds makes them into the person you fell in love with, even the ones that don’t align with your own.

7. Revisit and Reassess Regularly

As you evolve and circumstances change, your needs and priorities do, too. Make it a habit to revisit and reassess regularly. Schedule dedicated time to check in with each other and discuss any shifts in priorities or desires. Are you interested in trying a new hobby? Has your partner been unhappy at work and is contemplating a career change? By staying attuned to each other’s evolving needs, you’ll ensure that understanding remains a cornerstone of your partnership.

Becoming an understanding partner is not a one-time effort but an ongoing journey. By prioritizing open communication, empathy, and mutual respect, you can create a foundation of understanding that will strengthen your relationship and make space for you to grow as a person. Remember, when you choose to be in a committed partnership, the things that matter to your partner should matter to you. With dedication and effort, you can cultivate a relationship built on a deep understanding of each other. 

If you need support on any of these techniques, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Book a free 30-minute Balanced Relationship Breakthrough Session, where we can begin your journey to becoming an understanding partner by identifying your areas of strength and developing strategies to address any areas of weakness.