The phrase "communication is key" is something you've most likely heard at some point in your life. Communication helps build trust, openness, and intimacy. Having a strong understanding of your partner and their needs can improve your marriage and build a stronger bond. At times, it can be challenging to understand each other, which can put a strain on your marriage and cause issues down the line. That's where a marriage counselor can help you more effectively express your needs.
Communicating doesn't just mean talking. You also need to listen to your partners' thoughts, emotions, and concerns. After you tell your spouse how you feel, remember to stop talking and listen to what they have to say about the matter. You both deserve the opportunity to express how you feel in a safe, nonjudgmental environment. It's essential that both parties feel heard and understood. Not only is it important to listen, but to truly comprehend what your partner is saying. During the conversation, you can communicate you understand by smiling, nodding, even just saying that you understand. If you don't understand, ask for clarification without interrupting, of course.
One of the most significant aspects of a relationship is honesty. If there's no honesty, it's hard to establish trust. Sometimes it's hard to tell the truth, but if you want to improve your marriage, you need to have these difficult conversations. If there is any infidelity or any other issues, it's better to get them out in the open. Apologize for any indiscretion instead of making excuses and try to resolve the issue. Being honest can difficult for some people depending on the severity of the problem, but it's better in the long run.
"I" statements can help your partner not feel like they are on the defense of the conversation. If you are using statements that start with "you," it can come off as accusatory, which will then lead to an argument instead of a constructive conversation. Putting the focus on you will most likely lead the discussion in a better direction. Take the time to think about any issues within the relationship, then create "I" statements to bring up in conversation with your spouse.
It's important to express both positive and negative thoughts. Positive affirmations can significantly improve the health of your marriage. This can include compliments, affection, respect, admiration, and appreciation. Most people focus on the negative but concentrating on the positive can help open the doors for more constructive conversations. People are likely to hear each other out if the positive outweighs the negative.
When you feel bitterness, resentment, disappointment, or sadness, you need to communicate those feelings to make effective changes. You can point out issues in the relationship but make sure you do it constructively.
In 2019, people use technology for most of the day. It's essential to put smartphones and devices aside to focus on having a conversation and listening to your partner. This conversation allows you and your partner to communicate without being distracted by other things so you can fully comprehend each other and avoid confusion. As a society, we tend to get pulled into social media and addicted to our devices.
By being more present, you can improve your overall relationship. The best thing you can do is avoid communicating about anything important via text message or email because words can be misinterpreted. If you are having trouble collecting your thoughts, make a point to write everything down, and bring it with you when you talk with your partner.