In any long-term relationship, there are going to be difficult conversations. Although both of you would rather not discuss specific issues, having these conversations comes with its benefits. It can bring you closer together and even strengthen your relationship.

Here are 7 ways to talk about difficult topics with your partner in a healthy, productive way:

Get in touch with your feelings.

Understand your feelings and why you feel that way. It may seem obvious to you, but your partner isn't a mind reader. Sometimes you feel angry or resentful but aren't sure why. Other times, you feel neglected by their actions even if they have good intentions. Take the time to sort your feelings out-whether it's by journaling, talking to a therapist, or saying them out loud to yourself. This will allow you to better communicate them to the other person, especially if the issues are weighty.

Check-in with your assumptions.

You may not always realize it, but you probably have an expectation of how the conversations will go. Whether it’s based on previous discussions or you have a “gut feeling” about the way your partner will react, these assumptions do play a role in the outcome. Practice having an open mind. If you expect it to go horribly wrong, it probably will.


Consider that what you have to say maybe upsetting for your partner to hear. Rather than justifying your perspective, review the reasons to empathize with your partner.

Set the right tone in the beginning.

Ensure an excellent time to have the conversation and ensure that both of you aren't distracted or stress with other things. Begin positively, and communicate that you'd like to talk about something that may be difficult to hear. Regardless of how you bring it up, keep in mind that your partner's initial reaction might be defensiveness. It's your job to allow that while maintaining your balance.

Tell the truth without pushing to have your way.

A partnership is a commitment to another person. All the outcome to remain open and make room for them, regardless of whether it's hard to hear. In other words, you need to be open to your partner's point of view just as much as you want them to be available to you.

Stay present with what your partner is saying.

It's easy to get distracted by our feelings while listening, but this doesn't make for a productive conversation. Stay present and reflect on their point of view. Listen to understand rather than prove a point.

Know when to reach out for help.

Sometimes, even being prepared can't stop tough conversations from escalating. Feelings get hurt, and it may take some time. If you can't seem to find your way back, reach out for help to a trusted counselor or therapist.

Practicing these steps regularly will help ensure that you will have the skills to listen, empathize, and hear something threatening without feeling rejected when the time comes.