Rachel Elder is a Couples Therapist and Relationship coach helping career-driven women create passionate relationships with their partners. She is a mom to a two-year-old, wife of a fellow entrepreneur, and lover of iced mochas and the office.
What is the wisest way for a man to tell someone to back off from his girlfriend?
Be direct, specific, and respectful in communication with the individual who is crossing boundaries in your relationship. “I am in a relationship with her and need you to respect the relationship we have. I would like you to reduce your interactions with my partner.” People do not like boundaries AND you still need to create them. If this person does not respect the boundary, then your girlfriend and you should talk about what action steps you both will take to keep your relationship intact and honor one another.
What tips do you have for men who have trouble expressing their feelings to women?
Emotional intimacy is important for a relationship. To increase your ability to express your feelings, it can help to work with a therapist to increase your understanding around your feelings as well as what makes it difficult for you to express sit. You can also let your partner know expressing your feelings are challenging and that you want to work on it. Provide them with some tips or ways they can help you express them more and how they can support you in this. Intimacy is a vulnerability which is risky. It’s okay that it feels like a risk to express them and taking risks can have a positive impact.
What’s the best way to tell someone you need space in the relationship?
Focus on the positive need for space. What does having some space in the relationship from your partner do for you? Does it help you take time to care for yourself so you can care for them well? Does it help you feel more connected with your partner when you can have some time apart? Whatever the positive need is, that is what you want to communicate with your partner. “I feel more desire and connection when I am able to have some time for myself and have the ability to miss you. I would like to take the weekend for myself, etc.” We often communicate what we want to stop or eliminate from the relationship, but we really need to communicate the positive change or need we have.