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Intimacy and Heart Disease: Communication Tips

To help you listen to each other’s feelings, you might try this “talker/listener” approach. First, one person is the “talker” and the other is the “listener.” Then you change roles.

Man and woman talking over coffee at kitchen counter. Tips for better communication

1. As the talker, tell your partner up to 3 things you are feeling.

Start your statements with “I” and keep them short. You might say something like, “I’m afraid that if we make love, I’ll get tired and have to stop.”

2. Your partner listens but does not say anything until you are through speaking.

3. Then your partner tells you in his or her own words what you said. You just listen.

4. Now change roles. Your partner becomes the talker. You listen.

Then you tell your partner in your own words what you heard.


Repeat this exercise as many times as you like. Practice at least 3 times a week.

Online Medical Reviewer: Image reviewed by StayWell art team.
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Online Medical Reviewer: Russell, Nikki, RN, BSN
Last Review Date: 2/24/2014
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