Need Help Communicating Better? Chunk it Down

If you’re like us, no matter how good (or bad) your relationship or marriage is…

You probably have situations in your relationships, especially your intimate ones, that you’d like to improve or change.The problem for most of us is that when we start to look at making these changes, it can look and feel pretty overwhelming–so we end up doing nothing.

We might even make an attempt to make a change but somehow it all seems too big and we stop, going back to the way things were.

This challenge of thinking or feeling “overwhelmed” is one of the reasons why our relationships get stuck and in the shape they do.

The truth is that when you are overwhelmed by a relationship issue, it’s usually several issues that are lumped into that one. What seems to be the obvious issue may not really be at the core of your relationship challenge.

And your feelings of being overwhelmed by the situation that you have created within you adds to the mix making it a pretty difficult place to get out of.

If you can identify with any of these feelings, here is some good advice about how to move from your feelings of being stuck and overwhelmed .

It’s called “chunking down.”

This is probably advice you’ve heard before and it may even be what you already do in many parts of your life…

Whether you’ve heard this advice before or not , we invite you to take a fresh look at how “chunking down” can help you make the changes you’d like to create the good (or even great ) relationship or marriage that you really want.

Let’s take a couple of areas that can be mine fields in relationships, especially intimate ones–like communication and trust to explain what we mean.

Sometimes, these problems can seem pretty big to tackle and even insurmountable but if you chunk them down into bite-sized pieces and notice positive changes along the way, they can be resolved.

Let’s take one couple who had a problem that they just couldn’t seem to get past.

Carol liked to do things with another couple but her husband Tom felt uneasy when they were together with them. Tom felt that Carol laughed a little too much with the husband of the other couple and that they seemed too close. Carol thought Tom was being ridiculous and that they all were just close friends–and she liked it that way.

Every time the subject came up about getting together with this other couple, Carol and Tom ended up arguing about it and they felt like they were at an impasse in their relationship.

The problem became so overwhelming that it came up often even when they were talking about other things.

We suggested that they chunk the problem down so it wouldn’t be so overwhelming.

Here’s what they did…

They stepped away from “the issue” that seemed to be the problem and started looking at what they each wanted in their relationship.

Tom wanted to have a deeper connection with Carol, the way it used to be. He wanted to have fun with her again and feel close to her. In part, because Carol’s job had gotten a lot more intense and overwhelming in the past few years, she had felt herself pull away from Tom.

They had fallen into a routine that felt lifeless to her.

She wanted more “life” in their relationship.

We invited them to think of one thing they could do that would bring them both closer to what they each wanted–with the idea that the “one thing” would build on another and then another.

They decided to start by telling each other one thing each day they appreciated about the other.

They started by noticing very small things about each other that they appreciated.

What they found was that in the act of noticing and telling the other person, they each became more open and loving in their relationship.

The next “chunk” might be to practice listening to each other with an open heart or it might be to set aside some time each day just to have fun and talk in ways they used to do.

What about the problem with the other couple that stirred up all of this anguish and separation between Tom and Carol?

It eventually became a “non-issue” when both Tom and Carol began getting what they wanted in their relationship and lives.

So what about you?

What seems overwhelming in your life right now and how can you chunk the problem down so that it’s manageable and can be resolved?

If it’s a communication problem that you can’t seem to budge, you might follow the lead of one couple who has been our coaching clients.

They agreed to practice our 14 communication suggestions, one per week, from our free “Relationship Reverse Report” available at

That’s a great example of “chunking down” a problem.

If you have a trust issue, you might benefit from the info in our course on rebuilding trust at for some great suggestions.

Or you might follow Tom and Carol’s lead and start opening to each other with appreciation.

Whatever you choose to do, start taking positive action in some small way.

It will feel good take a step toward what you want.

For more information about how to communicate with your partner when it’s tough, visit


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