Mean what you say and say what you mean.
When your partner hears one thing in your words but your tone of voice, body language and facial expressions are really saying something else, you open the relationship to some crazy making days.
Which message is she to believe?
This can waste a tremendous amount of energy and she learns not to trust part of what you are saying.
Here’s a very simple but common example. You are getting ready to go to a formal dinner.
Your wife comes to you and says, “How do I look?”
(And she’s wearing a dress you don’t particularly like and her hair is pulled back in a way that turns you off.)
Not to spoil the evening you enthusiastically say, “You look great.” You don’t really mean it and a part of her knows you really don’t mean it.
But, you leave it at that. This might not seem like a big deal – we all have done something similar – but if trust is shaky to begin with, it is even shakier now.
Here’s how to match the words with the nonverbal: “I think you are a beautiful person.
I want you to know that.
I love you dearly and it will be wonderful to have you by my side tonight. Others will see your beauty.
(As you say this, you look into her eyes as you put your hands around her waist.)
She’s not concerned so much with how she looks but is expressing a need for affirmation.
She’s not talking about her dress or hair, but about wanting to know the evening is going to go just fine.
You respond to the real message.
You can take this one step further, if you like.
At some point you might bring up her need for affirmation and talk about that.
Ask her is there is anything you can say or do so that need is met.
Trust is awareness of the intent beneath the obvious message and responding to that!