Episode 10: Why Does My Partner Only Pay Attention When I Threaten to Leave?

by Nov 25, 2022Podcast

Neuroscience tells us that when we threaten, others will pay attention – because the brain goes into its natural response state to threats – the flight/fright/freeze response. 

But how do you get your partner to pay attention, without resorting to threats? If you want your partner to pay attention, you should pay attention to these three things:

Three Reasons Your Partner Doesn’t Pay Attention to You

1. You Make Everything About What’s Wrong With the Relationship

If you’re regularly coming to your partner with complaints, things you want them to do, or thoughts about what’s wrong with the relationship, they are likely to come to see you as threatening and, whether they realize it or not, turn off their listening. Busy couples, who have high-pressure careers or kids to care for, often don’t make the time to really communicate or to really spend time together. When you do something that’s important to both of you, it becomes a connecting point, and, suddenly, you’re not just having conversations about what’s wrong with the relationship.

A couple of techniques that can help you to better communicate and understand one another are:

2. You’re Not Expressing Gratitude to Your Partner

We often have a long list of complaints to our partner, and if they’re shutting it out, they might miss it when we’re sharing something important with them. But when you share gratitude often and consistently, your partner will know that they’re loved and appreciated – even when you’re aggravated with each other.

3. You’re Not Checking In With Your Partner

Check in with your partner about their readiness to hear what you have to say. We’ll often be bothered by something, and we go to our partner right away, but they might not be in the same headspace that we are. They may not receive it the way you want. You can ask “Is there a time that you’re open to discussing something that’s important to me?” This allows them to shift gears, and give you the attention you need. During the discussion, you can then ask them if they understand what you’re saying, and ask about what they’re thinking. This not only will help you to ensure that your partner has really heard you, but will filter what you’re saying through their experience – taking their perspective into consideration.

While it is your partner’s job to meet your needs in the relationship, it’s also your job to say what’s important to you in a way that your partner can hear it – And that’s one way you can make your love work.

To learn more about each of these 3 relationship mistakes, and how to address them and get your partner’s attention back, Watch the podcast on YouTube here.

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