Communication in marriage is one of the essential topicseverycouple (including us) needs to learn in order to have a healthy, fulfilling, and lasting marriage.
In fact, communication and marriage go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other.
So in this article, we will share how you can improve communication in your marriage using examples from our marriage. But before we get into that, let’s discuss 3 key things you need to understand.
We all communicate differently!
During our first year of marriage, a major lesson we learned was that we all communicate differently.
In our marriage, Marcus is more logical and less emotional when it comes to decisions and conversations, while I can be both logical and emotional, but tend to be more emotional.
For example, if we get invited somewhere for a get-together, and Marcus has projects he needs to get done, or he would just honestly prefer to stay home. He is an introvert and will say, “No thank you” quickly and easily.
While I may think of the countless times we already turned them down, and feel like we “should” say yes, or just to get out of the house! (I’m the extrovert) – Ashley
Our thinking plays a big role
Based on our personalities, we have learned that neither is the right or wrong way. There is a time and a place for both ways. We just had tofind the balance.
After learning about emotional and logical thinking, we had to learn to balance our ways of thinking. So that we could communicate effectively in our marriage.
When it comes to how we spend money, creating a monthly budget, and the plans/goals we have, logical thinking takes the lead.
On the other hand, when it comes to advising, listening to each other’s wishes, dreams, solving our marriage problems, creating a couple’s bucket list, etc., it takes both logical and emotional thinking.
The words we use have different meanings too
When it comes to what we actually say, again it’s vastly different for us.
People speak both verbally and non-verbally. Some people have a better ability to read into body language in a much bigger way. Our experience has taught us this marriage lesson.
Quality time is part of Ashley’s love language so I make it a priority to give her that every day. Sometimes she will say’ “Come snuggle me,” thinking I am going to come right away to snuggle her.
Although I will answer and say yes, I might take a minute or two…or even twenty before I go snuggle her. Her expectations were for me to come right away.
We use the same words, but they have a different meaning for each of us. She meant at that moment, I meant in a few minutes once I was finished with what I was doing. – Marcus
Learning that we all think and communicate differently is key.
Yes, it is the key to effective and efficient communication in marriage.
For example, Marcus will ask me if I’m okay, and I will say “fine” although my body is stiff, and I won’t look at him.
At the beginning of our marriage, he would just believe my “fine” and go about his business. I had to learn to communicate verbally and it was so hard for me at first.
The root of that was I felt vulnerable, and although my husband is the one person I should feel the safest being vulnerable with, my past and insecurities kept me guarded still. – Ashley
A common communication in marriage problem
We hear and read about when a wife comes up to her husband and just wants to vent or express her problem, looking for sympathy.
Instead of just the “Gee honey, I’m really sorry to hear that,” that she wants to hear; her husband sees a problem and looks for a solution. He gives advice. He responds, “well if you stop doing X,” or “well don’t be friends with her anymore”.
As you can see, this communication problem happens in most marriages, traditional, or not. You might have experienced it too.
Some people are problem solvers by nature, and others are more nurturing, or natural sympathizers.
It does not imply that the sympathizers can’t solve problems, and the problem-solvers can’t sympathize; those are just their strong suits.
I have learned to verbalize my feelings, and what I am trying to communicate with my husband more. I have learned to be more logical in my thinking in the areas of my life that need it.
I have learned my husband can’t read my mind. – Ashley
I have learned not to provide solutions whenever Ashley tells me of her frustrations or problems, but rather to comfort her. Then later that day or the next day I will nicely ask her to see if she just needed me to comfort her.
If it is something we need solutions for, we quickly devise a plan to help her or discuss the issue. – Marcus
The lack of effective communication in a marriage
It can lead to a lot of communication breakdown issues, stress, and more conflicts. Coupled with other marriage problems, communication issues can easily escalate a married couples decision to get divorced.
As you might expect, the only way to improve communication in your marriage is to learn and practice effective communication skills.
In addition, discovering the signs, causes, or reasons why you have a communication breakdown in your marriage will help you avoid a communication breakdown with your spouse.
Just as Communication 101 is thought in college, it will be great if married couples enrolled in a communication course before tying the knot.
Would a communication in marriage class be great for your marriage? The answer is a big YES.
Effective communication in marriage is critical to the success of any marriage!
Effective communication means you and your spouse understand each other when you communicate.
So how can you improve communication in your marriage?
In order to improve communication in every marriage, the desire and willingness of the couple are required. At the very least, either you or your spouse must be willing to put in the effort.
Why? Well, you need to understand this:
It will take intentional effort from you, and your spouse to improve communication in your marriage.
By learning how to communicate with your spouse, you will prevent most of the communication problems that occur in many marriages.
Have you observed a marriage where the married couple is not able to communicate effectively with each other? What thoughts came to your mind? Were they good thoughts?
The lack of communication in marriage means disaster!
Yes, your marriage will most likely be filled with resentment, growing apart, or end in a divorce.
This is simply because communicating with your spouse is integral to everything you do in marriage; be it sex, connecting with each other, talking about money, creating a monthly budget, parenting, etc.
Now it’s time for…
The communication strategies we use
Now that you understand we all communicate and think differently, let’s dive into the proven communication strategies we use to communicate effectively.
We have used these communication strategies several times to successfully improve communication in our marriage. Infact, they were essential to us surviving our first year of marriage!
Honestly, we strongly believe these communication strategies will strengthen communication in your marriage too. Consider them as tips on how to improve communication in marriage.
[Worried about your communication skills? Take this communication quiz.]
How to improve communication in your marriage in 7 simple steps
1. Make sure your spouse is listening to you and paying attention.
Before you communicate with your spouse, get his or her attention first.
Because if your spouse is not listening or paying attention, all your “words” will not be heard.
2. Don’t yell at your spouse.
It simply does not set the tone for better marriage communication, could put your spouse on the defensive, and/or make them angry and non-receptive.
3. Try to see the issue from your spouse’s point of view.
How would he/she best understand what you are trying to communicate to them?
4. Depending on what you are trying to communicate, try different verbal explanations.
You could also use the drawing of diagrams, writing on paper, etc.
If you know they like hard data and numbers, or visuals, try using those as it makes communication a whole lot easier.
5. Ask your spouse if they understand what you are trying to communicate with them.
Let them describe it to you if they understand you clearly.
By clarifying, you will eliminate any assumptions.
6. If the above does not work, or you begin to feel frustrated, take a break.
Revisit later after you each have had time to think about the issue.
Taking a break will also help clear your minds.
7. Practice the six steps above for the next 7 days.
You will see great improvement in how you communicate with your spouse. Your marriage will also get better.
Note: For a more detailed version of the 7 steps, read this article:
Practice the 7 simple communication strategies
One of the best ways to remember the 7 strategies above is by practicing them every single day.
Teaching and sharing them with other married couples who are looking for ways to improve communication in their marriage also works. These strategies can also be used as communication exercises for couples.
Apply them whenever you communicate with your friends, relatives, co-workers, and people you meet every day.
Because the fact is this:
When you practice, teach, and share these strategies, you will eventually master them.
You will become a better communicator, which will help you improve and strengthen communication in your marriage.
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