Tips to Regain Good Communication in Marriage
A marriage is, like most other intimate relationships, hard work. It requires a foundation of trust, mutual respect, and good communication patterns. Patterns being a key word! As humans, we are habitual. We need to create patterns that will build into habits to maintain any sort of action long term.
Here are some tips for good communication, whether you are building these habits for the first time, or rebuilding them to strengthen your relationship.
Use Your Words
Let your words speak for themselves! When you want to communicate with your spouse, try to keep your high emotions in check. The message that you are trying to communicate will be able to come across more clearly if you DON’T YELL.
When getting frustrated or angry, it is common to react by tensing up and beginning to yell. When yelling, your partner can easily become defensive and the conversation turns into an argument. This argument may even be full of personal attacks. Feel free to take the time to breathe and calm down then revisit the conversation.
The point of communicating with your partner is to be clearly understood. Don’t let your emotions get in the way of what you are trying to express.
This may seem counterintuitive to what was just said. Be communicative with your words, but also be aware of what your word choices are. Using critical and condescending language can upset your spouse, creating anger and shame. Spewing insults and harsh words can create a defensive conversation, not allowing you to communicate what the actual points are.
Be respectful in your language. Again, if you need to take a break from the conversation to collect your thoughts, take it. It is alright to take your time to sort through issues.
Take Your Spouse’s Point of View
Imagine where your spouse is coming from. Now imagine how it would feel if you were being spoken to in your spouse’s position.
You would want to be spoken to with kindness and respect. And you would want to be addressed in relation to the issues at hand. Keep this in mind while having conversations with your spouse.
Apologize for Your Share
Take responsibility for your part of your communication breaking down. Even if it is as clear as day in your mind that your partner is to blame, it is important to take a step back. Looking from your spouse’s point of view can help you see other aspects of your communication.
You are the only one who can decide how you respond to any given situation. If you become angry and reactionary, it’s your fault and not your spouse’s.
Apologize for your anger, for your reactions, or any other part of the communication breakdown that is due to your patterns of communication. Apologize sincerely and from the heart. And DO NOT tell your spouse what he or she should apologize for. It’s important to each take responsibility for your actions, because no relationship has only one side.
And the most important tip: LISTEN! Honestly listen to what your spouse has to say. It may not be what you have already come up with in your head.
Respond honestly to what your spouse says. Formulate how you actually feel about the conversation at hand, don’t automatically snap back with what you had previously thought a good comeback or response could be.
Utilizing these tips can help create good communication, and foster an environment of trust.
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