Listening to your partner

Listening to your partner - Partners to Parents

Listening to your partner is important. Babies develop well if their parents can relate to each other with respect and affection.

Talking is a major part of resolving problems or conflict and open communication will strengthen your relationship. Share your concerns, thoughts, and feelings with your partner. Ask your partner about their day and how they are feeling, rather than just focusing on your baby.

“What was good about today?”

“What wasn’t so good?”

Listening to your partner is important, even if you feel that you are hearing the same things over and over. Ask your partner to explain or give more information if you don’t understand what’s being said. When someone wants to talk, they’re not necessarily seeking advice, but may just need to talk it through. Try to avoid jumping to conclusions.

Actively listen to help one another feel acknowledged and supported by:

  • stopping what you’re doing to show that you are giving your full attention
  • using body language to show that you are listening, e.g., maintaining eye contact and sitting in a relaxed position
  • waiting until your partner has finished speaking before offering your opinion or suggestions

ACTIVITY: Listening to your partner… really listening

Listen to your partner – without speaking or interrupting! – for a full 5 minutes. Try to really hear what your partner is saying – what is their perspective? What are they  feeling and thinking? Practice showing your partner that you are listening through your body language. Use this acronym to help you!

S – Sit straight

O – Open posture

L – Lean towards the person

E – Eye contact

R – Relax

While you are listening, notice any urges, feelings or thoughts that you have. When the 5 minutes is finished, acknowledge what you heard your partner say. And then swap! And do it again, with you as the talker and your partner as the listener.

What was it like listening to your partner without interrupting? What was it like to be listened to your partner without being interrupted?

RELATED: Talking about tricky things

 When things get heated

Last reviewed 24 April 2016