I am going to start doing this on a weekly basis, I think. I am going to just do a quick (and has to be quick from my busy life...thus a point) summary of relationship lessons I learned (often the hard way) through the week, so it can benefit you.
1. It is not only important to listen to the other person but to let them KNOW you are listening. Sometimes, people make relationship suggestions to help the relationship grow. But, if those suggestions are dismissed or rejected, it BECOMES a relationship issue, as the person suggesting it does not feel their opinion is valued.
2. Don't take it personally. When someone suggests something or even makes a criticism, it is not necessarily a personal attack. It can be something that even the one suggesting it knows they need, as well. However, they don't always SAY it applies to them, as well (which would also help), and it can come off as criticism of character. So, the person receiving it can deny it, feeling attacked. However, when they deny it, it goes to the first point of not feeling valued for opinion.
3. It's not about you. The last point of the week is...remember that we ALL have our own issues we are dealing with. First, before you take anything personally, think about what the other person is going through. Are they feeling devalued elsewhere and more needy for personal stability. Are they unsure about their own decisions in other areas and feeling a need for confidence. Are they feeling attacked from others and need comfort. Sometimes....often in fact...I can find myself frustrated NEAR my fiance, but she takes it personally, because I have not communicated the other actions in my life (or insecurities connected to them) so she would know why I am stressed, and she has the same area to grow. No one wants to admit they are struggling with something, but when it is kept in your head but affecting your response to others, it can become an issue down the road.