18 Ways to Improve Communication in Marriage
Effective Communication in Marriage
Communication in marriage is so important. Blah blah blah. We all know this.
But when I got married, there was no brochure handed to me that taught me all the secrets to communication success.
My husband and I have always rocked when it comes to communication. The lie detector says that is a lie. Yeah right. We have struggled just like every other couple. Heck, we are still navigating our way through it.
After 15 years together, and many rough patches, we have come to a place where I feel like communication is not such a touchy subject.
These tips have made a huge difference in how we approach communication. (notice I did not say they made it easier)
Communication can be quite a doozy!
We’re talking about open and healthy communication. If it was simple, we would all be pros at it.
Ready to communicate about effective communication in marriage? It’s about to get real.
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Here Are 18 Tips to Work on Communication in Marriage
1) Timing is Everything
There is a time and a place for everything, right?
I agree with that to a point. Patience may not be my strong suit so waiting is not always easy for me. And by not always, I mean it is never easy for me!
First off, pouncing on someone as soon as they walk in the door is probably not the best method. And yes, I am telling you this from personal experience. I may or may not be the one ready to pounce in this scenario.
Laying in bed ready to fall asleep is also probably not the best time to start a discussion. Yes, this is another time I am guilty of opening my mouth.
Listen up, I am not saying that you need to schedule a meeting with your spouse every single time you want to have a serious discussion.
But I guarantee that both people being ready to talk will result in a better outcome.
My husband and I try to have a sit down once a week and really talk. Do a little check-in with each other to see how things are going. This gives a set time to bring up anything you want or need to get off your chest.
This is also a time to bring up the positive things too. Communication does not always need to be serious and stuffy.
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My husband has called me out on this on more than a few occasions. I have this bad habit of not really listening. I am just waiting to say what I want to say. My comeback is on deck before he has finished one sentence.
This is a hard one.
Really listening to someone.
This means giving someone your full attention. Not having your own conversation going on in your head.
3) Be Open
One of the hardest parts of communication is seeing something from a different perspective.
Try not to just dismiss what your partner is saying. You may not see it the way they do but that doesn’t make it unworthy of being heard.
4) Be Clear/Ask Questions
Make sure that your point is coming across. And make sure you are understanding what your partner is saying.
Nothing wrong with asking some questions to clarify what you are hearing.
5) Speak From Facts
It can be easy in a heated discussion to start taking low blows.
The safest thing to do is stick to the facts.
6) Stop Assuming
As much as we may say we know exactly what our partner is feeling or thinking, we DO NOT.
Some days I feel like a full-blown psychic. But that may come from watching one too many crime shows.
Predicting the outcome of a show is a little different than predicting real-life situations.
If you are holding back, chances are the issue will not be solved. It’s like cleaning the tub but leaving a few long hairs. They are noticeable.
It kind of defeats the purpose if you are not being fully honest.
Half-solving an issue is not our goal!
8) No Winners
There are no right or wrong answers. There are no winners.
Do not allow the need to be “right” to knock your marriage on its butt.
Work on entering a conversation without a piece of paper to keep score.
9) Take Responsibility
I know this may be hard to hear. But like me, you are not perfect.
Take responsibility for any area that you may be lacking in. Take responsibility for a mistake you made.
This is by no means easy but it is 100% necessary.
10) Know When a Break is Needed
There may be some issues that won’t be resolved after one talk. That’s ok.
This is extremely hard for me. I am someone that wants to hash it out until the problem is solved. My husband is the opposite. After so long, he is just done talking. Putting it aside until another day does not drive him nuts as it does me.
But I will say this. As much as it drives me bonkers to keep a conversation open, it has significantly improved our relationship.
Coming back to something with fresh eyes and a fresh mind is like magic.
11) Agree to Disagree
Of course, it would be great if every disagreement or argument was easily solved by following a few steps.
But there will be times when a clear solution is not in the works.
Recognize when it is time to agree to disagree. And then move forward.
It is absolutely fine to not always be 100% on the same page. As long as you are in the same book, you are good to go!
12) Do Some Work on Your Own
Come to a discussion prepared. Maybe this means writing out some ideas. This may sound silly but think about it.
Our minds have so many thoughts going through them. Sit down on your own and get all that stuff out!
Do a brain dump and come ready to talk in a productive way!
13) Let Go of Ammunition
Do not keep things in your back pocket to use at a later time. Knowing this won’t solve a dang thing. If anything, it adds more problems.
Have you ever had something happen and right away thought of how this would come in handy at a later date? Yikes. I have.
But the past can stay in the past. And if an issue is still bothering you, chances are it was never solved in the first place.
14) Always and Never
How often are these words coming out of your mouth? For me, the answer is more than necessary.
Why do I use them? To make my argument stronger.
Does it work? Not usually in the way I want it to.
Plain and simple. Make an effort to avoid these words.
15) Fight Clean
When name-calling comes into play, the chances of something productive happening decrease greatly.
I am not expecting anyone to be perfect. We all stumble from time to time.
But try to say “no” to just being mean!
16) Don’t Let Things Fester
Something so small can easily and quickly grow into something much bigger if it is buried deep down inside of us.
What often happens is one of you just forgets about it. Well, more like locking it away somewhere and acting as if you forgot about it.
This is why it is so dang important to make time to talk on a regular basis!
Focus on one thing at a time! Do not get sidetracked with 62 other things. I may be the queen of the famous line, “oh, and…”
Nothing will get solved if you have a mile-long list of topics on your agenda. Prioritize!
18) Professional Help
Why is it so strange to think some outside help might be just what the doctor ordered?
Listen up. There is nothing wrong with looking into this option. Maybe to some, it feels like admitting defeat. No way. This is actually the complete opposite of defeat.
This is putting your foot down and saying that you are going to do what needs to be done.
Communication plays a huge role when it comes to a successful marriage. You know that. I sure as heck know that.
Make sure you are doing your part.
I promise you if I can take it up a notch when it comes to communication, you can too!
Let me go check my pockets right now for any ammunition I may be holding onto! What can I say? Old habits die hard!
Marriage is a wild ride, my friends. Enjoy it!
Check out Marriage Fitness with Mort Fertel for a deeper look at ways to help your marriage!
I would love to hear any advice you have for improving communication in marriage!
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