Successful Marriage Communication Techniques
Making a marriage work requires effort. Effective communication goes a long way to help spouses understand each other and achieve a deeper level of intimacy. Communication can be difficult at times, but there are some proven techniques to maintain a successful, stable marriage:
Better communication with your spouse includes:
● Using “I” statements - When you have something to say, talk about how you feel and what you need (e.g. “I feel hurt when you say that”). Speaking like this avoids placing blame, making communication more effective. Acknowledging your role in an uncomfortable situation also challenges your partner to agree that the problem is a collective responsibility.
● Listening - When disagreements arise, both parties may stop listening to each other. Actively listen to your partner and give them your undivided attention. Be careful not to interrupt so they know you value what they’re saying.
● Empathizing - Address your partner’s feelings with the utmost importance. Many stresses can be alleviated if you put yourself in your spouse’s shoes and understand where he/she is coming from. Check in regularly (e.g. “This is what I’m understanding; am I right?”). This lets your partner know that you want to make sure you’ve heard the message completely.
● Being mindful of how to communicate - It isn’t always about what you say, but how you say it. Communication can break down when one person speaks in a manner that may be construed as combative. Choose words carefully and keep your manner calm. A loving, respectful approach encourages both partners to work together, rather than argue.
● Observe - Two people in a relationship need an intimate knowledge of each other’s goals and values. Access that knowledge when communicating with each other. Pay close attention to nonverbal cues your spouse may have (such as changes in body language or facial expression), as they often reveal your partner’s emotional state.
Communication is the foundation of a successful marriage. If you have trouble communicating with your spouse, a professional counsellor can offer solutions to help you and your partner get back on track.
Living Well by Design offers counselling for couples in Edmonton and St. Albert, AB, to help you decide how to proceed with your relationship, including discernment counselling. Together, we can work together to determine the best forward move. Call (780) 246-8100 to make an appointment.