fix my relationshipHere’s a typical situation. It’s a married couple, but the situation applies to every relationship. A man is annoyed with his wife. His wife says, “We’re not romantic anymore.”

Instead of asking her the magical word why, the man will start defending himself. He’s listing romantic things they’ve done in the past. He’s telling her how hard he works and how he doesn’t have time. What’s he isn’t doing is listening…

Listening is a Skill

It takes time to develop that skill with your partner. As a couple you’ll need to learn to say why when you don’t understand where your partner is coming from. Everyone has trigger points they’re not aware of. When someone’s triggering you, you need to stop and try to listen to what they’re saying and ask why.

This can be a great challenge. When you’re triggered you are thrown into a defense mode. You don’t know why you’re getting agitated, but you can feel it. The problem is the wife isn’t attacking the husband. She’s expressing a need to be more romantic, now. She doesn’t care how romantic they used to be, she feels like they’re not romantic enough now.

If her husband had asked her why they could have resolved the issue and avoided the inevitable fight.

The Fight Will Kill the Relationship

The minute you start defending yourself, the minute you start verbally attacking somebody is the moment the relationship goes down the tube. You cannot discredit someone’s feelings. Even if your partner isn’t making logical sense you have to give them a pass. Emotions aren’t logical. Sometimes you don’t know why you’re upset.

If your lover, partner, significant other comes to you and says, you’re no longer romantic, instead of defending yourself, honor those feelings.  When you honor somebody’s feelings, they will be able to express to you why, given time. You need to be open to power of why.

How to Use Why

Look in your lover’s eyes when they put you on the defense. Every time a relationship has a sticking point, somebody will come to their partner with a problem, and the other person will do everything in their power to invalidate their feelings.

When somebody’s feeling something, the last thing you want to do is defend yourself because it feels like you’re not listening. The person you love is sitting across from you, they’re feeling a certain way and you’re on the defensive.


Take a breath.

Accept what they’re telling you and speak the magic word, “Why do you feel that way?

Reverse the situation.

Think about how you would feel when you had a problem or a fight with your partner.  Instead of them defending themselves, they looked at you straight in the eye, heart to heart, with an open mind and said, “Why are you feeling that way?” 

You feel heard don’t you?

Be prepared when you ask them why, to allow the person to confess, dump, and say whatever they’re feeling.  Allow it without reacting, defending, or trying to manipulate the conversation.  They came to you and it took them a lot of guts to do it. Honor their guts.

Remember Your Partner is an Individual

No matter where your partner’s emotions come from you’ve got to shut your mouth and listen; even when you disagree with what they’re saying. As great as it is to be a couple you have to remember you’re two separate people.  You won’t always experience a situation the same way. You’ll have different opinions on how your relationship should be managed.

The only thing either of you wants is to be heard. When you listen, it gives your partner permission to listen to you. Give it a try. Open your ears and close your mouth. The next time you’re nervous to talk to your partner about something, I promise they’ll be more receptive to listen.

They’ll remember how you made them feel when they were nervous to speak. This works both ways. When you don’t listen, when you’re defensive, they’ll remember you didn’t listen.  You’re going to make them angry and frustrated. Most likely your partner was sitting on it for too long. You need to be the person who allows them to open up. You need to be the safe place, otherwise what good are you as a partner.

Ask them why do they feel this way. Allow them a space and time to express themselves fully. Watch your relationship blossom like it never has before.  That’s the magic power of why. Embrace it and watch your relationship with your kids, your boss, your lover and every single person you know become stronger.