Most marriage counselors agree that communication can make or break a relationship. If you and your spouse do not communicate effectively, you are both likely to experience frustration, anger and resentment.
On the other hand, couples who communicate well experience fulfilled relationships, empathy and true intimacy with their spouses.
Effective communication in marriage is perhaps the single most important aspect of a successful relationship. With it, you can edify your spouse and grow in your relationship in ways that are not otherwise possible.
Learning to communicate effectively with your spouse can make your marriage a truly beautiful union.
Say what you mean, and mean what you say.
Sometimes, married people expect their spouses to become mind readers as a way to prove their true love and devotion. Not only is this a completely unreasonable request; it is one that will certainly lead to major problems.
If you are expecting your spouse to read your mind and meet your needs without error, you are setting your spouse up for failure and yourself up for disappointment. Read the following example and see if you can relate.
You want your spouse to help out more with household chores. To make your desires known to your spouse, you begin to make vague comments to your mate about the state of the house when you get home.
You may even make drastic comments such as “I will have to quit my job to keep up with this housework since it seems to be all up to me.”
Instead of hinting about the mess you come home to or threatening to quit your job to take care of the house, sit down with your spouse and explain what you want. Offer a practical solution and listen to their ideas.
State your needs directly and without accusations.
Practice kindness as if your marriage depended on it.
The truth is, your marriage does depend on kindness. Many married people find themselves lashing out at the people they love the most. Couples who spend every day together tend to grow very comfortable with one another; sometimes to the point where they lose common courtesy.
How strange it is for us to be polite to perfect strangers and rude to our own spouses! Read the following example to see if you find a familiar scenario.
Your spouse calls in the middle of your work day, when you are extremely busy. You see your spouse’s number pop up on your cell and roll your eyes before answering. When you answer, you say a terse “What.” Your spouse reacts with equal annoyance and you go home to an inevitable fight.
Instead of saving the contempt of the day to unload on your spouse, save your kindest comments for your spouse.
Answer the phone pleasantly. Show your spouse you are glad that they think of you during the day and want to hear your voice. In fact, tell your spouse just that. When you are unkind to your spouse, all messages become distorted and communication becomes derailed.
Exchange competition for communication.
Couples who compete for dominance or superiority end up in a complete communication breakdown. When the goal of communication becomes winning, both partners end up losing.
Competition takes the focus off of “we” and puts it on “me”. Marriage is supposed to be about two people becoming one. They pull apart when they are competing for their own individual goals, being right or putting down their spouse.
In order to avoid this trap, do not use “you” statements more than you use “I” statements when bringing up areas of conflict. “You” statements tend to place blame and provoke defensive responses. “I” statements take responsibility for feelings and actions.
All marriages have conflict; it is those who learn to fight fair who make it through the rough times with their relationship intact.
Effective communication in marriage does not happen overnight. However, it is a daily choice. Learning to understand your spouse and their emotional language is far more important than trying to force your own opinions and thoughts. When you listen to your spouse, your spouse will be more willing to listen to you.
Start improving communication in your marriage today.
If you are reading this article, you are likely seeking a way to communicate more effectively with your spouse. Every relationship has struggles with this issue at one time or another.
Effective communication in marriage requires a purposeful, daily action that gives each spouse the opportunity to be heard and valued.
If you are ready to start improving your communication with your spouse today, watch my free video to immediately receive important tips on how to strengthen your marriage and communicate effectively. You’ll love the advanced approach outlined here to help you and your partner discover ways to love each other.