7 Ways to Improve Communication with Your Spouse
Lack of communication and misunderstandings are a huge reason why long-term relationships fall apart. Even once strong relationships can lose the deeper connection we need for a healthy marriage, leaving us feeling alone, unable to share with our partner, and often unable to relax when we’re with them.
Great communication leads to trust, that deep one-on-one connection we all crave, honesty, and the ability to be your unfiltered-self with your partner. But great communication also takes work. External stressors and inner changes as we grow can change how we communicate. Read on to learn 7 key tips for improving communication with your spouse
How to Improve Communication with Your Spouse: 7 Key Tips
• Really Listen
Really listen to your partner. You may be surprised to realize how often you and your spouse talk to one another without really listening. While this may seem small when someone is simply telling you about their day or contemplating a new purchase, tuning out of those conversations leads to you ignoring bigger signals.
Ask further questions to allow your spouse to elaborate on anything they’re speaking about. Make it clear that you’re taking in everything they’re saying and show that you care what your partner has to say. Resist the urge to sit there and wait for your spouse speaking so you can have your “turn.” That’s not listening; it’s waiting to talk.
Also, listen out for those words, phrases, and signs that your partner isn’t doing well. Often, we won’t share a stress that’s outside our relationship, especially if we think it may stress out our spouse, but that can actually lead to higher stress levels and even resentment. When you see these signs, try to prompt your partner to share their worries with you.
• Identify How You and Your Spouse Communicate (Great Communication with Your Spouse is the key)
Everyone communicates differently. Some people are blunt and upfront, while others are quiet and tend to keep their thoughts to themselves. Some people talk a lot and enjoy voicing every idea, opinion and thought. Others communicate through physical touch and actions. Part of effective communication comes from acknowledging and keeping in mind how your partner communicates, especially during disagreements and times of stress.
• Express Your Feelings in the Moment
Express things that bother you when they bother you. It can be tempting to avoid identifying an irritating, insensitive or frustrating thing your partner does or say in the moment, but it’s always better to get it out of the way. If you don’t bring these little things up as they occur, you run the risk of building up resentment, which can turn into an inclination to nit-pick. Making snippy little comments can erode a relationship over time, so avoid that by being honest and identifying any small issues as they arise.
• Be Honest, Even When You Make Mistakes
A foundation of honesty is essential for a strong, lasting marriage. It affects every aspect of your relationship, from how good you feel being with your spouse, to trusting one another with financial matters and making decisions that are in the best interests of the two of you as a unit. In every case, being honest when a problem first arises is the best way to work through it together. Hide a problem, and your partner will resent you later if it becomes a much bigger problem. Great Communication with Your Spouse is vital.
• Have Faith in Your Relationship and Remember Why You Got Married
Have faith in your relationship. If you didn’t both believe that this relationship was worth working on, you wouldn’t still be here, so remember that whenever you feel frustrated. Positive communication requires a positive attitude and vice versa. Believe in your relationship and trust that things can change for the better. Think back to when you first got married – why did you fall in love with your spouse? If things have changed, it’s likely time to have an open and honest heart-to-heart with your spouse about how you can get things back on track.
• Be Present When the Two of You are Together
This might sound like a cliche, but it’s true. Take time to really be there for your spouse. Put time aside each week to spend together, especially when times are hard, as that’s when trust and intimacy are built. You don’t need to go out on an elaborate date night (though that can help), but simply paying your full attention to one another at breakfast, dinner, or when you first get into bed at night can make all the difference.
• Choose Your Battles
Sometimes, things just aren’t worth arguing about. If you’re inclined to rehash previous issues, letting things go might be a skill to work on. If you’ve been with your partner for a while, you’ll know that some things just aren’t worth revisiting. The ability to prove that you love each other, even when in conflict, is an invaluable one.
As with any relationship, we all crave connection, whether between friends, family members or a partner. When we don’t feel that we’re achieving that connection, we may feel dissatisfied, isolated, and we may be inclined to avoid communicating altogether. Of course, this only causes more problems in the long term, so it’s always best to be open, honest, and genuinely willing to listen to your spouse and talk about how you can work on this aspect of your relationship together.
7 Ways to Improve Communication with Your Spouse
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