Hey friends! Welcome to episode #22 of The Grapefruit & Granola Podcast.
I really wanted to expand on ALL areas of health and wellness for season 2 of the podcast, which is why I asked therapist Jessa Zimmerman to discuss ways to improve your relationship. Enjoy the show notes!
Jessa’s tips on improving or enriching your relationship (“Rules of the Court”)
Play your own side of the court
What is yours to deal with and what is your partner’s? We’re often trying to read our partner and manage/handle our partner. It is your responsibility to bring something up with your partner and trust your partner to do the same. You want an interdependence with your partner so you can be responsible for yourself but also lean on each other and work as a team.
Say no if you need to say no
Someone can’t trust your “yes” if they can’t trust your “no”! Setting yourself up to do something you don’t want to do will set you up for resentment and negativity. Jessa talks about how we can practice this not only at work and with friends, but with family as well.
Share what is going on with you instead of expecting your partner to guess or pull it out of you
If you have an issue, bring it up and be direct. If there is something you want to talk about, you should bring it up.
Think about what you might not want to bring up and think about why that might be.
Empathize first, then respond
In a time of conflict, think about how your partner might be thinking and feeling even though you disagree. This must be mutual in order to see how the other person’s perspective makes and can both be “valid” at the same time even though they aren’t mutually exclusive. Then, respond and solve the conflict.
When you have an argument, you aren’t necessarily arguing about the event that happened but rather the emotional response the event elicits. Anger is actually a secondary emotion; if you are angry, you’re actually feeling some combination of sad, hurt, afraid, or ashamed.
Open is better than vulnerable
Vulnerability means you can be decimated and means you need your partner to make you okay, whereas if you’re open, you don’t need to be validated by your partner.
About Jessa Zimmerman:
Jessa is a licensed sex therapist and couples’ counselor. She specializes in helping couples who have a good relationship but who are avoiding sex because it’s become stressful, negative, disappointing, or pressured. She educates, coaches, and supports people as they go through her 9-phase experiential process that allows them real world practice in changing their relationship and their sex life. She does this work through in person therapy in her office in Seattle, online therapy for Washington residents, her Better Sex podcast, and her soon-to-be published book, Sex Without Stress.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/seattlecouplescounselor/