I don't think communication requires the skill of a brain surgeon. However when it comes to romantic relationships, some people really suck at it. It doesn't have to be this way. Sometimes, communication doesn't suffer from what is being said, but rather what is not being said. Making assumptions about what your boo thinks is going on can be detrimental to the actual discussion that occurs afterward. What you should do instead, is just say it. Whatever you are thinking, say what you mean and mean what you say. Here is what that looks like.
Can I get a little help please?
This is something I hear a lot of people complain about. Imagine you are home with your kid, as you are every day. Your significant other arrives home from work and you think, "Great! Now someone can help me do all this crap that needs to get done." Meanwhile they are thinking, "Now is my chance to finally relax after a long day." However, no one actually says anything. Eventually, one person is relaxing in front of the TV and the other is angry cleaning. Loudly. Instead of stomping around, slamming dishes and whatnot, why not just ask for what you want. But when you rattle off your list your significant other may be thinking...
When am I finished?
Generally, your significant other would not mind helping you with a few tasks. Especially if they could score some points for later *hint*. But the sooner the "few tasks" are over, the sooner they can get back to the relaxing. That is the immediate goal. So if you ask them to bathe the kid and put their jammies on, don't give them the stink eye later because they didn't wash the dishes. That was not a part of the deal.
I need some me time.
Women can sometimes feel under-appreciated. When the kids wash dishes or fold clothes they want a kiss on the forehead and a gold star. I don't want a gold star, I just want to watch Scandal in peace. I don't care what else is going on in the house. If the kid is fed, bathed, in his PJs and not killing himself, he can do whatever he wants for the entire duration of TGIT on ABC. Likewise, daddy should not bother me either. The average working parent probably spends two hours a day commuting, eight hours at work, and four hours at night doing every freaking thing else under the sun. Personally, I choose to only do the bare minimum on Thursday so I can watch my shows. Watching fake people's fake drama three hours a week keeps me sane. Is that too much to ask?
You're in my territory.
We have an evening routine in my house. It's mostly because my little one is potty training. Any deviations from the routine occur BEFORE we arrive home and not a moment after we cross the threshold. But sometimes daddy comes home early. Yay, right? One would like to think so. I have a preference for where things go and the order of events. Okay, I'm a little neurotic to say the least. As cliche' as it sounds, I've had to learn to pick my battles. You can't go behind your significant other redoing everything the "right" way and then complain that they never do anything. Besides, you can put everything where it goes tomorrow.
Was that today?
Everything I do outside of the house is on a rotating schedule. I know what my schedule is, but I don't expect everyone else will remember. This has become a balancing act for my family. Families with multiple children have all these different activities they have to keep up with. Our life is not that complicated, but we still use a shared calendar so we don't double book ourselves. Even so, I had to actually ask how often I should remind hubby of upcoming events before I start becoming a nag. In this case, it never hurts to just ask. I'm not intentionally trying to drive him nuts but I know he doesn't want to miss important things.
What's for dinner?
This can be a struggle in any household. Even where there are no allergies or dietary restrictions to consider, why is this so hard? The response to "what do you want for dinner?" should not be "anything" or "whatever you want". That is rarely ever the case. You think you are doing the other person a favor by not being picky, but really you don't want whatever it is they are about to serve. A better way to do this would be to offer options. Would you like chicken or beef for dinner? If the answer is neither, say that. Don't say it doesn't matter and then complain later. But here is a hint, anything I don't have to cook would be just fine.
I won't be home any time soon.
Everyone has that one friend who says they're down the street but really they're an hour away. What is that about? If "I'm on my way home" really means "I have to make 37 stops and I'll be home before sun up", say that instead. This will help to avoid issues later. Just trust me on this one.
Relationships can be stressful on their own. Making assumptions and holding in concerns will certainly add flames to the fire. So take my advice and just say it!