Relationship Tips for a Happy Marriage Part 10: Communication
Did you know that ineffective communication is the leading cause of problems in a relationship?
When couples experience marital problems, communication is the first thing to stop. Many people take the easy road and stay quiet instead of communicating about the issues in their marriage. However, any marriage counselor will tell you that effective communication is the first step of healing a relationship. Here are a few tips to help you communicate effectively with your partner.
Before You Start Talking . . .
Do you ever feel as if your spouse isn’t listening to you?
If you talk to a marriage counselor, he or she will probably tell you to choose your words, tone, body language and facial expressions more carefully. While this is all very important, it can make communicating with your partner feel like a chore.
Communicating with your spouse will be a lot more fun if you take the time to connect emotionally with you partner before you start talking. You don’t want to give your spouse the impression that he or she has done something wrong before the conversation begins.
Like the saying goes“people will forget what you said but not how you made them feel”
Don’t worry too much about using the right words or having the right facial expressions, as long as you communicate from a place of love and compassion, your spouse will know that you meant no harm even if you mess up.
Listen and Clarify the Message
Once you are done talking, listen to your partner. Keep in mind that communication in marriage, like any other form of communication, is filtered through past experiences. What you hear does not always equal what your spouse said or intended. You can clarify the message through non-judgmental questions and repeating a summary of what you heard. This not only assures your spouse that you are listening but also gives you the opportunity to clear up any misunderstanding. Clear communication makes dealing with problems in a relationship much easier.
Feedback is a very important component of communication. When your partner speaks to you, he or she expects a reaction whether verbal, non-verbal or both. Take some time to think about your reaction before actually reacting. The last thing you want is to react in a manner that will cause your partner to avoid communicating with you in future.
Be firm, don’t shout and take responsibility. This may sound simple but you wouldn’t believe how fast you can forget these tips for a happy marriage in the heat of the moment.
The easiest way to solve problems in a relationship is to keep talking. Do not be afraid that talking will make things worse. As long as you follow these tips, it will be easier for you to talk, listen, clarify and react with love and compassion.