Talking to your partner: How to make it easier

Everyone has their own vibe with their partner. Some couples talk a lot, and some are quiet and chilled. But there are some things that are harder for couples to talk about. Many couples struggle to talk about things like...

·         using condoms and contraception

·         testing for STIs

·         mental health problems

·         substance abuse

·         problems in the relationship

Don’t stress – here are some things that can make it easier to have that talk:

1.       Choose the right time. Don’t talk about it when you’re out in public or with other people – especially if it’s something private. It’s also harder to talk if either of you is feeling really emotional, or if you are using drugs or alcohol.

2.       Use ‘I’, not ‘you’. Talk about your own feelings (e.g. “I feel angry”) rather than talking about the other person (e.g. “You make me angry”).

3.       Don’t attack or blame them. If you attack your partner, they could get defensive or attack back. The most important thing is not who’s right… it’s that you understand one another and find solutions together.

Most of the time problems don’t go away on their own, and it’s easier to deal with a problem if you are facing it BUT: if you’re worried your partner will become violent or abusive if you talk to them about something, that’s not OK. You have the right to feel safe in your relationship. Talk to a trusted adult or tell a social worker, nurse or teacher if you need help, or call the Stop Gender Violence Helpline anytime on 0800 150 150. For more on relationships, go to the Connecting section on B-Wise. 


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