Seek Balance in Addressing Each Partner’s Needs

As a Bend relationship coach, I frequently talk about the importance of communication in maintaining a happy, loving relationship. Paying attention to how you say things can make a big difference in marital satisfaction.

That’s why a recent study from the University of California–Riverside, is so interesting. Researchers looked at how patients with breast cancer used first-person pronouns (“I,” “me,” and “my,”) and second-person pronouns (“you,” “your”) when talking to their partners.

When one partner is undergoing treatment for cancer, the spotlight is often on them, 24/7. Rather than focusing on the attention given to the patient, the study looked at the attention that was given to the partner.

When the partner used more first-person pronouns, talking about themselves, and the patient used more second-person pronouns, the study found more happiness in the relationship.

Researchers believe this happiness stemmed from a balance in addressing each partner’s needs.

This study certainly gives us a lot to think about from a few different angles.

First, let’s talk about how specific the study was. Researchers looked at only five words. Consider how often do you say, “I” throughout the day. How often do you say, “you” throughout the day? Which are you saying more? These two words can shed enormous light on the focus on your relationship.

The second interesting finding in the subject was the benefit of balance. This lesson doesn’t only apply to patients undergoing cancer treatments.

Let’s think of a more positive and common time when one spouse is getting more attention: pregnancy. When one partner is pregnant, how much focus is taken away from the other partner? How can you bring balance back into your relationship in any period of your lives?

If you want to learn more about how your communication affects your relationship, or how you can find balance in focusing on each partner’s needs, call a Bend relationship coach.