When was the last time you and your spouse had a conversation? You probably talked a few minutes or a few hours ago. But did you really listen to each other and express something meaningful?
A lot of couples do not have good communication skills when it comes to talking about their feelings and addressing the issues that might be hurting their marriage. Here is why communication is crucial for a happy marriage and how you can develop better relationship skills.
Why Does Communication Matter?
You cannot have a successful marriage if you cannot talk about the relationship. You should be able to tell your spouse how you feel, whether you have something positive to say or would like to express that you are unhappy about something.
Your spouse should be able to do the same thing and you should be able to actively listen to each other. It is important to acknowledge how the other spouse feels and to act accordingly if they bring up something that has been bothering them.
If you are unable to communicate with your spouse, issues will be ignored and resentment might build up and damage the relationship. You may be able to communicate very well in your career but not within your marriage.
How Can You Address Problems in A Healthy Manner?
Learning to address issues in a healthy manner is a challenge that a lot of couples have to overcome. Arguing is healthy and natural but arguments can also damage a relationship if you do not fight fair. Learning to properly communicate with your spouse will allow you to express yourselves in a healthy manner without hurting the other person.
Don’t let your negative emotions take over when you talk about your problems and take a break if you feel that the discussion is not productive. Never belittle your spouse, blame them for everything or make them feel unsafe about opening up and sharing their feelings. You should expect them to do the same for you.
Following are tips to help strengthen your marriage. But first, check out my products related to marriage health.
How Can You Develop Better Communication Skills?
Don’t worry if you feel that communication is not ideal between you and your spouse. It is possible to develop these skills and learn how to solve your issues and express yourselves. Start by setting some ground rules for important decisions.
You could, for instance, agree to take a break from a discussion if things are about to turn into an argument. Agree not to bring up past mistakes and to actively look for solutions together instead of figuring out who should be blamed.
Developing a friendship with your spouse, respecting each other and spending quality time together on a daily basis will help you feel closer and make it easier to create a healthy environment where you can communicate.
You may have to put some effort into developing better communication skills with your spouse. This is true if you notice that addressing your issues or expressing what you both expect from the relationship is not easy.
If communication is an issue, think about meeting with a marriage friendly coach, therapist or counselor who can help you develop these skills.
As I wrote in another article recently, you may be surprised how well and how differently your spouse hears tips from a third party than when you as a spouse may have made a very similar suggestion. It’s just how it works!
Marriage Counselor & Author
In my personal life, I have had a long successful marriage and have remarried following my husband's death. I have had three sons and helped raise a niece for three years and have seven grandchildren. I have loved spending time with them as they were growing up.
I also enjoy getting together with family and friends, ATVing in the mountains, photography, hiking, and traveling. I also enjoy reading, creating art, decorating, and serving others by volunteering.
Assisting couples in rebuilding their marriages has been so rewarding as I've had the privilege of seeing hundreds of couples reunite and get back to being positively connected to one another.
I also work with personal development and those who want to move forward by making positive improvements such as goal setting, self-care, boundaries, behavioral improvements, overcoming procrastination, conflict management, etc.