Effective communication is vital to the success of any marriage. It fosters trust and genuine connections between partners. By taking steps to learn to communicate better with each other, you will be able to establish and nurture a loving and happy marriage.
Successful communication in relationships means being able to have the right topic of conversation and saying the right things at the right time. We’ve put together a list of ten communication tips for couples.
Start with ‘self-awareness’
This is ‘mission critical’ in being capable of good communication with any person. The first step before you begin to talk with your partner is to take some time and reflect on your own thoughts and feelings about the matter you intend to discuss. Try to get a good handle on where your thoughts and feelings are actually coming from. This step will better prepare your thoughts so as to give your partner a better chance to understand you and not become defensive.
Have you ever had something bother you so much that you wanted to let it out but you didn’t want to do it in front of your spouse? Well, this situation happens quite often and we both know it! When this occurs, the best thing to do is call them and tell them you have something on your mind that you would like to discuss later. Doing this will allow them to feel less bombarded by the conversation and make it easier for you to gather your thoughts. In addition, if you are calm, you will be able to express yourself in a more productive manner.
State your intentions…
If you want to have better communication with your partner, it’s important to tell them what you want to accomplish. Communicating your intentions will help you guide the conversation in a more positive and productive way!
Use “I” statements instead of “You” statements…
We often make judgments about our partners based on how they help around the house. When we do this, we might not mean to be accusing them of something. However, our partner may feel put down by the accusation, especially if we fail to tell them what we are really thinking.
If you feel like there are too many responsibilities in the household, then you might want to discuss the situation with your partner. A more positive statement might be: “I am feeling overworked with the household responsibilities. Would it be possible for me to take on some additional responsibility in our household?” You can tell your partner that you are willing to do whatever is necessary to be able to maintain a peaceful and loving environment in your home.
Be in the ‘present moment’…
Body language is a way of showing the emotions you feel towards your partner. It is important to pay attention to your spouse and look them in the eye when they are speaking. Do not let your attention wander. Keep yourself involved in the conversation. Let them know you are fully attentive to what they are saying.
Listen to Understand, and then to be Understood…
People who want to communicate effectively need to listen. You should understand your partner’s ideas in order to understand what he or she is trying to say. When your spouse is speaking, you should really listen to her or him and let his or her words fill you up. Make sure to concentrate on the words your partner uses to express himself or herself. In this way, you will better understand what he or she is trying to tell you.
Repeat or reflect back what you just heard…
While speaking, I was trying to respond in a timely manner to the remarks my wife was making. Instead, I became distracted and lost focus of her point. I should have been listening carefully to what she was saying. If I wanted to improve our communication skills, I should try to put myself in my wife’s place and understand her perspective. I should try to see things from her point of view.
At this point in the conversation, it is important to take a moment to reflect on what you are about to say and the assumptions you might have made about your partner. Before you say anything, pause and wait for them to finish speaking.
If you don’t really understand them, then ask for more…
This might seem obvious to some people, however, people usually find enjoyment in a conversation when the other is demonstrating listening and interest through asking them questions. You should always ask questions to get clarification or confirm that you have understood what someone else has said. Also, it will make your partner feel good knowing that you are listening to them, and that you care about what they are saying. Furthermore, if you don’t understand something, just ask! Trust me, it will always be better to ask rather than make assumptions.
Acknowledge the other’s feelings about the topic
You may not always agree with my partner’s comments and remarks, but it is important that they know that you are listening and understanding their points and issues. They may not agree with your opinion and helpful suggestions 100% of the time, but it is still important that they know that you take their concerns seriously and you are trying to improve the relationship.
Your intention should be about care and connection
Generally, both you and your partner should be processing the thoughts and feelings that you both have in relation to the topic being talked about with the intent to keep moving forward as a couple. In talking through issues, make the end goal of a lesser focus and ensure that the main focus is on doing the conversation really, really well.
The final outcome of the conversation will leave both of you feeling stronger and more connected. This will also result in both of you making compromises, but it will make both of you feel that you were successful in resolving the conflict.