How to improve communication in marriage? How to communicate with my husband or wife? Communication is the key to a happy and positive life. However, in relationships like marriage, once your communication with each other becomes less and less, it can ruin your relationship and your marriage. Communication and intimacy come together in your relationships. Lack of communication in marriage is one of the causes of unhappy marriage life that’s why marriage experts always emphasize the importance of communication in marriage and came out with marriage communication tools to help married couples communicate with one another effectively. However, effective communication in marriage is easier to be said than to be done.
According to Jonathan Robinson who is a couple’s therapist and the writer of the book: More Love, Less Conflict: A Communication Playbook for Couples, “The number one thing is that people want to be understood and they want to feel like their emotions are being valued and when that doesn’t happen, marriages start to have problems. I never have couples come into my office saying, ‘We really understand each other, that’s why we want a divorce!’ but of course the opposite happens all the time.”
Improving communication in marriage
According to research, there are five times as many positive interactions between happily married couples such as listening, complimenting, using soft words, appreciation, affirmation, physical affection as there are negative ones like raising one’s voice, starting to complain, or expressing one’s anger. Miscommunication in marriage can possibly affect the family so you must know how to improve communication in your marriage or how to improve your conversation with your spouse. Here are some tips and traits on how to improve communication in your marriage.
Appreciate your partner daily
Let your spouse know that you appreciate him or her and that their efforts for making your marriage work aren’t going to waste. As what Robinson says, a simple note, text message for your husband or wife or compliment about how they look with their clothes can go a long way. It can help them feel that they are validated, appreciated and understood. For example, your spouse bought a new dress or shirt and he/she tried it then showed it to you, you can say that it looks good on him/her or a simple ‘take care’ before he/she leaves for work will do. Robinson says, “ “The number one correlation with happiness in couples is the number of appreciations they give to each other.” He believes that one of the barriers to effective communication in marriage is we tend to forget daily appreciations.
Listen to your partner actively
Most people interchange the meaning of hearing and listening. This is also what causes a lack of communication in marriage. In order to fully understand what your spouse is saying to you, you must practice empathic listening which is one of the marriage communication exercises that Robinson suggests. Emphatic listening is not only listening and responding with solutions or suggestions but with statements like “I can see you are upset because…” With this kind of statement, the arguments between married couples decrease. Married couples find this hard to do because they are easily upset and angered. However, if they practice doing this, small and big things will be easier to solve.
Don’t criticize your spouse aloud
Criticizing your spouse aloud will cause a sudden outburst especially when you are arguing with each other. On the other hand, if you talk about the things you thinking your partner must change or write them down then presenting it to your spouse, your partner can take them in slowly, process them and think of the right way to respond. Complaining and shaming your husband or wife can lead to something bigger which can ruin your relationship and this can also be one of the signs of poor communication in marriage. If you need to say something to your spouse, approach him/her calmly or do it in written form if you are shy. Give letters to your spouse with your sincere feelings on it.
Practice positivity with your spouse
As mentioned earlier, happy couples who practice a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative attitude are more likely to have a happy and healthy relationship. It was proven by experts to be true but it was also said that only a few married couples practice positivity. Can you find yourself settling for an unhappy marriage? Saying positive statements to your spouse every day can help build fairness in your relationship and can also help lessen your arguments with each other.
Have a break and calm down
If you have a disagreement with your spouse, it can go to a bigger issue with one wrong word. To avoid it, you must put brakes on your argument before both of you gets out of hand. If you are feeling a lot heavier already and upset, you should initiate at least a five-minute break, keep quiet and calm down. This method can help you in improving communication in your marriage because, by the time you are back after a few minutes, you’re more likely to be in the reasonable part of yourself and not be upset anymore.
Make physical contact with your spouse
One of the ways on how to improve communication in your marriage or improving communication with your husband or wife is not only through words or phrases but also through physical contact or simple gestures. By simply holding your partner’s hand or giving him or her a hug, you can say a lot and make him/her feel loved. Physical intimacy can spice up your relationship and not only your communication.
Make use of “I” statements more
Try not to focus on blaming your spouse especially when you are arguing. Instead of saying, “You did this”, “This is your fault”, or “You must change this”, try to make use of the “I” statements more. If you always use “you” statements in the middle of an argument, your partner will feel that they are really the ones to blame and it is all their fault which will make them too upset. If you practice using the “I” statements, you can also take responsibility for the issue like “I also did this because..” Thus, you are not trying to make your partner defensive and you are taking some of the responsibility.
Even if you are dating or married for a long time, there are still a lot of things to learn about your partner. Every day is a new day and things to discover is a lot than what you actually think. Getting curious is one of the ways on how to improve communication in your marriage. You can simply ask, “How was your day?” or “What do you like from me the most?” or “What do you think would make things better for us?”. Simple questions can keep your relationship alive and you develop more intimate conversations with your spouse whether it is in your bed or pillow or on the couch.
Given these tips, you can feel connected with your partner plus you can feel the magic of communication in marriage. If you do these, you can communicate better with your partner and develop your love with each other deeply as days pass by. Lastly, you will be able to create true love beyond words.