Every successful marriage depends on the husband and wife work together to achieve common goals. Communication is key to a good and healthy marriage. Also, communication helps to strengthen marriage, and it is a quality that needs to be developed and improved. So with that in mind, it would be best to build and improve your marriage communication skills to get the joys of marriage.
Ineffective communication can lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations. In contrast, excellent and wholesome communication helps to impart or interchange thoughts and share your sentiments and ideas. Besides, improving your marriage communication will get you and your spouse to speak honestly and kindly about your thoughts and feelings.
5 Steps to Improve Your Marriage Communication
1. Truly Listening
You and your spouse must listen well to each other if you are to improve your marriage communication. Listening attentively will help you to understand your partner’s feelings and worries. But, you might say, “I do listen, yet she still feels I don’t.” This might be a result of your missing essential details in what your spouse is saying.
Things to avoid when listening:
- Avoid getting distracted due to tiredness or the environment when your spouse is talking to you.
- Do not make assumptions. Wait to get the full details of the situation.
- Do not rush to give solutions; listening alone might be the solution.
How to improve your listening skills
- Ask insightful questions; this will help you to understand the situation better.
- For you to listen well, you must first hear what your spouse is saying. Therefore you have to speak one at a time. Avoid the urge to respond immediately or interrupt, but wait for your turn to speak.
- Be sincere to your spouse. Listening to your spouse comes naturally if you have a genuine interest in what he/she is saying. So, you want to look out for their interest and give your complete attention. Besides, you should tell your spouse if your mind is on other things, and you will not be able to listen well at the time. But remember to make out the time to able to discuss what your spouse wants to talk about.
2. Use your Devices wisely
The use of modern technology becomes part of our daily lives. We make use of these in work and at home and even in other circumstances. However, have you considered how the use of technology hinders or improve your marriage communication?
What to avoid when using technology
- Mealtimes can be great communication opportunities for you and your spouse. So, keep your phones and other devices that could take your attention during meals.
- It can be discouraging and inconsiderate to concentrate on your phone or TV programs when your spouse communicates with you.
What you can do
- You and your spouse need to set the right priorities with the use of technology. Your priority should be giving your attention and time to your spouse. For example, the time you spend on social media platforms should be far less than the time you give to your spouse.
- It might be helpful for you and your spouse to set limits on how to use your devices. Work emails, nonemergency messages, and text can be handled at a set time. Instead of impulsively checking of devices and responding to everything as they come in.
- You should discuss this with your spouse to see if you both can make some changes.
3. Express yourself effectively
What you say to your spouse is as important as what is heard by your spouse. But is there a difference? You might ask. Yes, it is possible to be a difference. When you and your spouse discuss a problem and end up further apart than when you started the conversation is an example; therefore, you need to effectively pass your message or ideas in a way your spouse will get your point.
- A conducive circumstance always makes discussion better. So you should wait for one to make your spouse receptive and listen attentively.
- You should find opportunities to give compliments to your spouse. If your criticism surpasses your compliments, your complaints might not be accepted.
- Your choice of words is important to convey the right thoughts. If not used rightly, your words will only make a bad situation worse.
- Also, you want to watch the tune and manner you speak when communicating with your spouse. This can make your spouse not accept even the right words.
- Listen to your spouse the way you want to be listened to.
- For wives, you should say what you need in clear terms. Sometimes you might just need your husband to listen to you and not proffer solutions. Therefore, be kind and tell him that.
- Husbands should try to be empathetic listeners. Show you get the point by nodding in agreement, make eye contact, and focus on what she is saying.
4. How To Resolve Disagreements
There is disagreement in all marriages, but those that have been successful have been able to get past it. If not handled rightly, disagreements can stunt your effort to improve your marriage communication. How, then, can you cope successfully when you and your spouse argue or have conflicts. Two essential skills can help you handle this situation better. You need to know when and how to apologize, and also be able to forgive your spouse.
When and How to apologize
Do not let your ego hinder you from apologizing to your mate when there is an argument. Some people believe they should only apologize when they are wrong. However, focusing on your spouse will help you apologize for the hurt your spouse feels or for the unintended consequences of your actions.
You want to be quick to apologize and not let issues liner even if you are not at fault. When you are wrong, accept, and own up to your mistake. Meanwhile, you want to be sincere when you apologize; this will make it easier for your spouse to accept. It is wrong to think that the passing of time will cover your offense.
How to forgive
Forgiveness sometimes may mean you simply let go of a matter; however, this does not mean that you downplay what happened or minimize the wrong. You want to let go because of your well-being and that of your marriage.
Holding on to resentment has no benefit; it can only harm you emotionally or physically, including your relationship with your spouse. Besides, you want to remember that you, too, do wrong your spouse and will also want forgiveness.
5. Be Able To Compromise
It is normal for you and your spouse to have different tastes and preferences. Sometimes this might cause some friction in your relationship. Do not let that stop you from implementing ways to improve your marriage communication. However, you both can work through your differences if you are willing to compromise.
Your spouse’s discussions will not get the desired result if you do not have an open mind. Likewise, without an open mind, compromise will never work. Compromise requires that you at least be open to considering your spouse’s position or reasoning.
Also, your tone and choice of words are as important as you, and your spouse tries to find common ground. Besides, try to highlight areas were you agree over where you differ. You should be able to self-sacrifice and be willing to adjust your views and position.
In summary, having a genuine interest in your partner’s welfare is vital to good communication. Make use of your insight and notice silent communications from your partners. Further, you both want to resolve problems quickly and remember to apologize and let go of grievances. Be clear with your message to your spouse; look for simple means to reinforce your message. For example, sending compliments through texting, leaving affectionate notes for your spouse. Find time to listen to your mate as they communicate their feelings and ideas. Applying these practical steps with humility will improve your marriage communication skills.