Intimacy and Heart Disease: Communication Tips

Intimacy and Heart Disease: Communication Tips

March 21, 2017

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.


March 21, 2017


Levine, GN. Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease: A Scientific Statement from the AHA. Circulation 92012); 125(8); pp. s1058-s1072, Sexual Activity in Patients with Cardiovascular Disease, Up To Date, Steinke, EE., Sexual Counseling for Individuals With Cardiovascular Disease and Their Partners, Circulation (2013); 128(18); pp. 2075-2096

Reviewed By:  

Fetterman, Anne, RN, BSN,Gandelman, Glenn, MD, MPH