A lack of communication can have disastrous consequences on your marriage. You might not feel like you have a communication problem with your spouse because you talk to them every day. However, there is a right and a wrong way to communicate with your spouse if you want to have a long and happy marriage. Here are some of the communication skills you and your spouse will need to develop if you haven’t already.
Responding To Your Spouse
The way you respond to something your spouse says can determine the entire mood of the conversation. It can also determine whether or not there will be a conversation at all. Always try to be positive when responding to something your spouse says, even if the topic could potentially lead to a fight.
When your spouse makes a simple comment about something that seems trivial, look for a response that will lead to a longer conversation instead of a short response that simply acknowledges that you have heard your spouse.
Active listening is important for a good marriage. It is very important that you pay attention to what your spouse says and to what they don’t say. Ask questions to get more information. Ask them about their feelings towards the topic they are addressing.
Be sure to mirror back what they say in your own words to show that you are trying to understand them. Being an active listener will bring you closer to your spouse and help you understand one another better.
Know When to Have A Serious Conversation
You need to talk about some topics such as your financial obligations or your relationship once in a while. Plan on having these conversations at a time when you will both be relaxed and ready to focus entirely on the conversation.
Don’t hesitate to set up a few guidelines for these serious conversations. You can, for instance, agree beforehand to stop talking and to get back to the conversation later if you think that things could turn into a painful disagreement.
Of course, the long term goal is to be able to learn to agree to disagree on some matters or opinions. You are two different people and it is impossible to always have the same opinions.
As much as possible, try to stay in the curious mode rather than the judging or condemning mode. If you can think like a newspaper reporter, you will find it fascinating to discover more about your spouse and how they came to those opinions.
Following are tips to help strengthen your marriage. But first, check out my products related to marriage health.
Touch and Body Language Matter
Touch your spouse when you talk to them if he or she is okay with it. Putting a hand on their arm or on their shoulder shows that you are listening and that you care about them.
Your body language is important as well. Make a conscious effort to turn toward your spouse to show that you are engaged in a conversation. Pay attention to your spouse’s body language to better understand their feelings.
Humor Is Important
Couples who are in long and happy marriages will tell you that they are each other’s best friend and that they laugh together every day. Laughing with your spouse is important because it will bring you closer together and help you keep the marriage strong even if you are going through some difficulties. Look for things you can do together that will make you laugh and never miss an occasion to tell a new joke to your spouse.
Developing these communication skills is the key to a happy marriage. Don’t worry if you feel that communication is lacking. You can improve communication in your marriage and build a better relationship if you start making efforts now.
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.