It’s very interesting to see how often people underestimate the importance of communication in marriage. It’s actually one of the most crucial elements of relationships that are going to withstand the test of time, it also happens to be one of the most common silent killers of relationships. As a love and relationship coach, I work with people every single day who are working on repairing relationships so I can confidently tell you that communication is key. It can help protect your relationship against all kinds of challenges, and it can repair the damage after your relationship was faced with an obstacle.
That is why I wanted to dedicate today’s article to communication in marriage and what you can do to make sure that you and the person you love are successfully communicating in a way that is going to protect and reinforce your relationship!
It’s always easier to repair a problem in a relationship while you’re still together than having to put the pieces back together after a breakup, and proper communication is one of the things that’s going to help you to steer clear of breakups or divorce. So let’s take a look at how to develop flawless communication between you and your significant other!
Why communication in marriage is so essential
The easiest way to think about communication in marriage is that it is the glue that keeps the relationship together. It is how you diffuse issues, but it’s also how you work on creating a future together that makes both of you incredibly happy.
If you and your spouse have a lack of communication in marriage, you may find that the two of you are drifting apart without even realizing it.
This reminds me of my client Lorena who came to me for help on how to improve communication in her marriage. Tensions were starting to arise between her and her husband, Ricardo, because they had not established proper communication between them. The reason was simply that they had grown up differently – Ricardo came form a family where everything was talked about in the moment, and on top of that, both of his parents were really easy going. If ever there was an issue, it would be addressed right away, and then the problem would be resolved and everyone could happily move on.
Lorena came from a family where things were more likely to be swept under the rug, and that’s how they would move on from issues.
So in Lorena’s relationship with Ricardo, they were not approaching issues in the same way. The most recent fight they had happened because Lorena had done something that made Ricardo feel undervalued in the relationship, and he had gone to her asking if they could sit down and talk about it. With their busy schedules, that conversation ended up not happening. As time went on, they fell back into their normal routine and Lorena felt that they had just moved past the issue and could forget about it.
The problem, however, was that Ricardo was still waiting for her to initiate the conversation with him when she was ready to talk about it. The fact that she never did actually made him feel worse and gave rise to bigger tensions later on down the line. So you see, the problem here is that they were not on the same page and communication was not happening.
A lot of people who are struggling with communication in marriage inadvertently expect their partners to read their minds. In this case, Ricardo expected Lorena to understand that she still needed to open up the conversation and talk about the problem with him, but Lorena saw things differently and thought that if there was still an issue, he would have brought it up.
So you see, people will have different ways and types of communication, and part of being in a relationship entails getting to know how your partner operates. Being able to do this can help you steer clear of a wide array of marriage problems. Ricardo is now working on being more clear in expressing his needs, and Lorena is now working on being more aware of how Ricardo operates and therefore how she can approach situations in a more productive way. Communication is a two way road… So let’s take a look at some concrete tools that will help you improve communication in your marriage!
The most common reasons why people experience communication problems
As I’ve been working with people in these situations, I’ve found that in the majority of cases the issue are stemming from a couple of common themes.
The one I see the most often is problem people desperately seeking to be understood instead of trying to understand. They keep rebounding off of what their partner says to try to make their point, without actually taking what their partner is saying into consideration.
Another common problem I see is a person constantly bringing up the past when they’re arguing, or they keep talking about their partner’s shortcomings. When you keep bringing your partner down, it’s not going to improve communication between you.
There are also many situations in which I see people treating their partner as though they do everything in the relationship, and their partner doesn’t do anything. It often ends in developing a nonconstructive way of communication that I’m going to go over in a moment…
So let’s take a look at how to start building effective communication in marriage with the person you love so that your relationship can begin to thrive!
How to remedy a lack of communication in marriage
As I was saying above, communication is one of the fundamental pillars of any healthy relationship. Without it, your relationship is in jeopardy because no one can read minds. In fact, any happy couple can tell you that assuming that the other should “just know” is one of the main causes of problems in relationships and marriages.
It will help you to navigate through each other’s concerns and struggles. It’s also going to help you to empty the emotional bucket. Sometimes things will pile up and then one little thing serves as the straw the broke the camel’s back, but if you guys can work together to diffuse tensions whenever they come up, you won’t have to deal with an accumulation.
It’s also a good way to ensure that you two aren’t living two separate lives. I often work with people who come to me saying that it feels like they are living parallel lives with their partners under the same roof. By talking to each other you can respond to each other’s needs and plan for the future by working on a common life project.
Effective communication in marriage starts with empathy
You know your significant other better than anyone, so if you want to know how to communicate better, just remember that the key to success is paying attention to how they might be feeling. Step into any given situation and try to put yourself in their shoes.
This is something that comes very easily for some people, but it is quite challenging for others. If this is hard for you to do, challenge yourself to keep how your partner might be feeling at the forefront of your mind. The more you do this, the more of a habit it will become and you will begin to naturally empathize with the person you love.
How to improve communication in marriage: Handling disagreements
Sometimes people are wondering about what causes a lack of communication in marriage and in many of the cases, it’s because people don’t know how to solve disagreements in a productive way. As a result, they start to push each other away and have even more difficulty resolving issues in the future.
This is why I always stress the importance of never playing the blame game, because it’s just going to make your partner shut down. Pay attention to how you’re making your point. For example, there is a big difference between “YOU never make time for me and YOU always have something more important going on than spending time with your spouse” and “I miss spending time with you…”
Another thing to keep in mind is when your partner is expressing something that is making them feel a certain way, you can show them that you’ve understood by repeating what they said back to them. “Ok, I see what you’re saying. I can make some improvements in terms of cleaning up after myself and taking some of the work off of your plate.”
It helps to feedback what your partner is saying to you until they acknowledge that you got it.
Learning how to listen when there are communication problems in marriage
I often see people fighting to make their point instead of hearing their partner out in an argument. If you want to fix communication issues in marriage, I encourage you to learn to listen to understand; not to reply or to win an argument.
Really work on hearing what your partner has to say and using it as a tool to help you put yourself in their shoes. If you’re wrong, admit you’re wrong. Showing humility in addition to empathy is going to get you much further than pointing fingers or trying to deflect all the blame.
A good tool for solving issues together as a team is starting by asking your partner questions that you know that they’ll respond “Yes” to. It helps reinforce that you two are on the same page. The more agreements you find, the easier it will be to find a consensus.
Communication in a marriage: Showing respect
Your partner wants to feel valued and respected by you, just like you want to feel valued and respected by them. The best way to make this happen is to make sure that both of you feel respected by each other! The more you listen to your partner, the more he or she will listen to you.
So make sure you talk in terms of your partner’s interests, and encourage them to talk about themselves. You want to know how they feel and what they need in order to feel happy and fulfilled in this relationship.
Make sure that the person you love feels important. A good way to ensure this is to treat them the way you want to be treated. The more you listen to your partner, the more they’re going to listen to you, so make sure that you’re actively thinking about perfecting your communication skills in marriage.
Breaking down the barriers to effective communication in marriage
So as you know, a lack of communication in a relationship is going to undermine its foundation and in many cases, a lack of communication in marriage leads to divorce. There are so many different reasons behind problems with communication in people’s relationships, but the good news is that there are always solutions available to you if you’re willing to do the work.
The first thing to remember is that empathy can go a long way. Try to put yourself in your partner’s shoes so that you can work as a team to keep communication fluid between you. Make sure you actively listen and hear them out, and go out of your way to make them feel respected and loved by you.
To learn more about how to communicate effectively, check out these resources! Join the Happily Committed Project and learn how to transform your relationship in a meaningful and dignified way, and restore the foundation of your relationship so that it can really begin to thrive! We’ve got new products on attraction and building self confidence. I encourage you to check them out and learn how to make your relationship stronger than ever.
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I sincerely wish you all the best in life and love,
Your coach when for everything you need to know about communication in marriage