Ask anyone for marriage advice, and communication will probably feature in the top three. And rightly so. Communication is essential in all aspects of life, but especially in a marriage. It is the key to a happy, healthy partnership. Your spouse is probably the person you spend the most time with, which could mean a higher risk of conflict or misunderstanding. This is where communication comes into the picture. It is what will help you avoid or solve conflict and build a better relationship. But communicating with your spouse is more than just asking them how their day was. It is about being able to have honest and open discussions. It is about being able to understand each other even with words unspoken. Communication in any relationship is about fulfilling each other’s needs. If you wish to improve communication in your marriage, you should learn how to listen, not just hear.
Read on for a few communication traits that are essential for a happy and long-lasting union:
Active listening Yes, listening is a choice, which many people often forget. If you say you love your partner, you shouldn’t just tune them out during a conversation. To completely take in and understand what they are saying, you need to pay attention and be an active listener. This is especially important during arguments. It can help you diffuse the situation much more quickly.
Being aware of your body language You could be saying the sweetest things but if your body language isn’t right, you might as well just not say anything at all. Your partner likely knows you well enough to tell by your face and actions if you are angry, irritated, or grumpy. So, if you want your communication to be positive, your body language needs to reflect that.
Using “I” statements During arguments, it is common behavior to shift blame and say, “You did this” or “You are the reason this is happening.” This can often escalate the conflict and push your partner into becoming defensive. You should, instead, use “I” statements. For instance, instead of saying “You did this,” you can say “I understand how I might have contributed to the problem.” Taking some of the responsibility can be quite helpful.
Knowing when to stop Sometimes it is just not the right time to continue a conversation. Maybe you or your partner is busy with something. Maybe you are tired. Or maybe you are a little too upset and know that if the conversation continues, you might end up saying something hurtful. Whatever the reason, you should know when to stop. Just tell each that you will continue at a better time.
If you still feel like you are struggling with communication with your partner, counseling can be incredibly helpful. For professional counseling solutions, KC Life Counseling is here for you.
We are a team of licensed professional counselors with years of experience who specialize in helping couples learn how to connect through better and more effective communication. Schedule an appointment today.