Communication is a bridge that connects couples to each other. Good communication is a key to a lasting marriage.
Why a better communication in a marriage is important?
The absence of effective communication in a marriage can make the marriage miserable. Lack of communication is one of the causes why many marriages fall apart. There are instances that couples do not see each other eye-to-eye and the lack of communication can worsen the situation. It is important for couples to know how to build a better communication in a marriage if they want their relationship to last.
So how to build a better communication in a marriage?
Follow some basic rules in handling disagreements for better communication in a marriage. Disagreements are a natural part of a marriage, it is not the absence of disagreements that makes the marriage last but the way you handle disagreements. These simple rules can be very helpful in building a better communication in a marriage in the face of disagreements.
- Never use silent treatment in handling disagreements. Not talking after a confrontation or after your spouse did something you didn’t like is a big mistake. Silence is also a form of communication but it is a dangerous form of communication that can harm your marriage. Silent treatment means withdrawal or you are shutting down emotionally and you are sending a message that your spouse is unworthy of your attention and this can be very destructive to your marriage. It is a disrespectful and manipulative method of communication. If silent treatment becomes a habit or used as a regular method to punish your spouse, it can cause irreversible damage to your marriage.
- Be careful in choosing your words. If you want a better communication in a marriage, choose your words carefully and avoid accusatory words. Words are the most important tool in communicating and you cannot take them back once you’ve said them so be careful in choosing your words. Avoid accusatory words when you have concerns because accusing your spouse will just worsen the situation. Do not start the conversation with the word “You.” Instead of using “You”, use the word “I” to start a conversation. For instance, instead of saying “You are giving me a hard time when you always forget to put your soiled clothes in the laundry bin”, say “I will appreciate it if you will always put your soiled clothes in the laundry bin”. The last statement sounds more of a request than an accusation. The use of the words “You” and “I” in communicating with your spouse can determine the kind of conversation you want with your spouse.
- No yelling and name calling. During disagreements, the tension and your emotions are high and the easiest way to release your emotions is by yelling at your spouse. This may feel like a relief but it is just a short-lived relief and often causes more trouble especially when you accompanied it with name calling or bad words. Yelling is not a healthy way of communicating but it is a destructive habit that can damage your marriage. Learn to be calm and take control of your emotions to build a better communication in a marriage.
- Do not respond when you are angry. Anger is a powerful emotion that can cloud your sense of reason. You cannot say the right words or make sound decisions when you are angry. Effective communication is impossible when you are ruled with excessive emotions. It is best not to respond when you are angry. You and your spouse must agree to use time out words like “need a break” and leave the room to cool off. Resume the conversation once you’ve both calmed down to communicate better.
- Compromise. Although couples are united as one through marriage, in reality they are two individuals with different point of view. To build a better communication in a marriage, compromise if you and your spouse cannot agree on something. Marriage is not about being “right” or winning all the time, it is about compromising or giving up a piece of yourself to make the marriage work. If you keep insisting that you are right, the marriage will suffer. Your goal should be to understand your spouse and not to defeat your spouse.
Communicate to express yourself clearly. Do not expect your spouse to read your mind or do not assume that your spouse know what’s on your mind. Your spouse is not a mind reader so you have to express yourself clearly to let your spouse know what you are thinking, how you feel and what you want from this marriage. Failing to express yourself clearly leads to misunderstandings. If you are not good at expressing yourself verbally, you can write the things you want to say to express yourself clearly. The point of communicating is to be clearly understood so do it in a way comfortable to you so that you can express yourself clearly to be understood. To build a better communication in a marriage you have to clearly express yourself, do not leave your spouse guessing.
Stay on the topic at hand. When discussing a specific topic, stay on the topic at hand and do not bring up past mistakes or issues. Nothing good will come out of the conversation if you will turn away from the topic. Once one issue is done, then tackle other issues. It is easier to stay focus on one issue one at a time than going back and forth on different issues without really focusing on them.
Communicate to express gratitude or appreciation. Better communication is not only needed when you have concerns or disagreements but to build a better communication in a marriage, you also have to express your gratitude or appreciation to your spouse. Be vocal with your appreciation towards your spouse. Simple words like “I appreciate how caring you are” or “I love how thoughtful you are” can have a great impact to your marriage. Verbal words is not the only way to communicate your gratitude. There are other ways to express your gratitude like sending a text message to your spouse or handwriting a love note which is one of the sweetest and classic ways to communicate your gratitude and appreciation towards your spouse.
Stop talking and listen. While talking is a common form of communication, you can build a better communication in a marriage if you will stop talking and just listen. We all need someone who will listen to us and your spouse is not an exception. Your spouse also needs someone who will really listen. Putting aside your own point of view for a moment and make an effort to listen to your spouse’s feelings and point of view is an effective way to communicate. Your spouse will open up more if he or she felt that you are sincerely concern and listening.
Be honest and open up yourself to your spouse. To build a better communication in a marriage, you must be willing to open up. Hiding your feelings or pretending that you are okay is not healthy in your marriage. Being open means opening your heart, being vulnerable and talking about things you’ve never talked about with any living soul before. Completely open up to your spouse to build a better communication.
No one is perfect in communicating and we all need to improve to communicate better. To build a better communication in a marriage you have to make an effort to be better. Marriage is a lifelong journey and each day is a learning process.
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