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5 Ways to get your partner to do what you want

Updated: Aug 14, 2021

Yes, Why Couples Fight is all about how to overcome conflicts in your relationship, particularly when it comes to your needs versus your partner’s. But what if it’s simpler than that? What if you want your partner to do something and they just don’t want to do it?

Here are some tips for moving from no to yes really fast:

1. Ask “What do you think I’m asking you to do?” This blows resistance right out of the water more often than you might think. Your partner will come up with some elaborate and arduous story of what they think you’re asking. And you’ll say, “No! I’m just asking you to...” And they’ll say, “Oh! Well! I'd be happy to do that!” Happens all the time.

2. Stop giving reasons. Just say, “This would mean a lot to me.” Lots of times when you give reasons why your partner should do something, they’ll say no because they’ll disagree with your reasoning. You’ll be saying it’s more efficient, for example, and they’ll say, you’re nuts, it’s way less efficient, and the two of you are off and running into an argument about efficiency. Aarrgghh!! You could bypass the whole thing by just saying, “Babe, it would mean the world to me if you’d...” and boom! you’ve got it.

3. Find the reason for the no. You want to visit your parents this weekend. Your partner acts like you’re trying to get them to commit the crime of the century. They’re like, I’m tired, I really don’t want to, you know I always have a miserable time. And none of this is new. But what’s the real reason!! A big game on TV? An already-arranged shopping spree with friends? Lots of times when you find the real reason, you can be like, “Oh, so next weekend would be fine...” And, yup, it would be. Or there is some other workaround.

4. Make a quick deal: “What do you need to give me what I need?” That simple question is a huge no buster. So often there is some this-for-that which will quickly turn a no into a yes. “Okay, I’ll put up with your taking saxophone lessons if you’ll let me be the one to build our new deck.” Or whatever!

5. Feel. Felt. Found. Let’s say there’s something about what you want that your partner is dreading. Like...say you want a cat. Which you’d take care of. But your partner says they don’t like cats. So you do a feel, felt, found on them. “Sweetie, I know how you feel. I felt the same way, because I used to not like cats too. But then we got our first kitten, and honestly, I just fell in love with her. More importantly, my dad did too. We both found the kitten was irresistible, and by the time she grew up, she and my dad were inseparable.” This feel, felt, found stuff works.

Well, there you go! With tools like these, why would two people ever need to argue!!

But if you find you do get into power struggles over conflicting needs, the solution lies in Why Couples Fight. Do check it out.


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