As I am sure you are well aware, communication is one of the most important elements of a healthy and long-lasting relationship. Without it, there is no deep connection between two people and yet, it can be one of the hardest things to master.
What’s more, the longer you spend not communicating properly, the further apart you drift. If you are reading this article right now, chances are that you are experiencing something like this. Perhaps the silence in your marriage is a new thing, or perhaps it is something that you’ve been dealing with for quite some time.
Either way, you want to know what’s going on and how to reconnect with your partner through healthy communication, right? Well, then you’ve come to the right place. In today’s article, I am going to give you 9 tools that will get rid of the silence in your marriage! Let’s get started, shall we?
Why does silence in marriage creep in?
There are so many reasons why silence can creep into a marriage. For some people, it happens simply because they never mastered the art of communication in their relationship and the result is that it has slowly made them drift apart.
In other cases that I’ve seen, it happens because there are some unresolved issues that are creating tension and resentment. Again, because communication is not fluid, the problems are left to fester and a silent tension settles in. In fact, not only does it settle in, it starts to bubble under the surface and gets worse over time.
This is usually when you see things like small matters turning into explosive fights. As you can imagine, this is not something that is going to help a relationship thrive and grow. If anything, it’s going to make the foundation crumble.
But these aren’t the only reasons behind silence in marriages. Sometimes there is a lack of communication because one or both partners don’t feel secure enough in the relationship to be able to properly express themselves. Whether it’s a lack of self confidence or the fear of how the other person is going to react, they hold back what they need to say.
Whatever the reason for the lack of silence is in your marriage, you are going to need to take a moment to pinpoint what it is. The more information you have on why these things are happening, the easier it will be to define the proper solution. So, let’s start exploring all the different types of solutions available to you!
Silence in marriage: The solutions!
Let’s get right into it. If your marriage is suffering from silence, then we need to focus on reopening the channels of communication. When we do this, we need to make sure that we set ourselves up for success and the best way to do so is to ensure that you’re going to be listening to understand.
I know that when things are tense or when there has been a lack of communication for quite some time, it’s easy to have a tough time talking about things. It’s also human nature to want to express your point and be heard and understood. But it’s not so easy to listen to understand when emotions are flying all over the place!
That is why my first piece of advice for you is to practice active listening. Make sure that you approach any conversation with your husband or wife with the intention of hearing them out and understanding what they are trying to say to you.
All too often I see people get into arguments because they aren’t listening; they’re just looking for something in the conversation to use as a springboard so that they can switch the focus to what they want to say.
A useful tool that we use in our coaching sessions is called “reflective listening.” The goal of this tool is to ensure that you have fully understood what your significant other is saying to you, and to show them that you have understood it.
One of our basic needs as human beings is to be understood, and this is an essential part of a healthy relationship! To listen reflectively, all you have to do repeat what your spouse just said to you. “Ok so what you’re saying is that you would like for us to spend more time together, right? I totally understand that.”
And then you can both work as a team to figure out the best solutions. It’s very tempting to become defensive and point out everything that you feel is your partner’s fault, but this is not going to help the situation right now. If you want to get rid of silence in marriage, you will need to start to cultivate an environment in which both of you feel heard, and safe to express yourselves.
This isn’t about playing the blame game. It’s about listening to each other, recognizing your needs, and working as a team to find mutually beneficial solutions.
So, listen to understand. Don’t listen to find something to springboard off of. Again, it is not at all about winning an argument; it is about understanding. If your partner is communicating with you, it means that there is a need there.
Avoid the blame game if there is silence in your marriage!
This one goes hand in hand with what I just talked about. Don’t play the blame game and attack your partner, blaming them for everything that is going wrong right now. Even if they did something that had a direct effect on the way things are right now, the goal is to look at the future and shape it in a way that makes both of you fulfilled. If you fixate on everything he or she did wrong, you are going to be met with defensiveness. I am not saying that you should not be given an apology is you are owed one, but it is crucial that you do not hold grudges or point fingers.
If you enter into a conversation in attack mode, your spouse is going to react with defensiveness. They are going to respond to your comments just to be right; not to try to find solutions. As you can see, this isn’t going to get you anywhere.
When you begin to break the silence in your marriage, you have to approach it in a very productive way that will encourage your partner to work with you; not shut you out. This is how you pull in the same direction.
Communication in marriage requires empathy
If you want to establish communication and openness in your marriage, you both need to practice empathy. A relationship cannot thrive if you two aren’t able to put yourselves in each others’ shoes. I encourage you to challenge yourself to dive into your partner’s emotions and feel those emotions with them. It’s important to validate their feelings.
Another helpful tip to encourage your partner to talk to you and open up to you has to do with talking to them in terms of their own interests. It’s important to understand what makes your partner tick, and this is where empathy comes into play. Don’t fixate on yourself and your needs. Instead, make sure that you’re paying ample attention to both your needs and those of your partner. If you are able to talk to him or her in terms of their own interests, they will be much more likely to open up and talk to you. Try to connect with your partner so that you can marry your wants and needs with theirs. This is truly a recipe for success that will take you far.
I have worked with thousands upon thousands of couples, and I can tell you without a doubt that this is one of the most powerful tools for success!
Let your partner talk
When you bring up the issues that you need to talk about, you have to let your partner express themselves. I know that for some of you, the problem is that you aren’t talking about anything, and in that case, you have to challenge yourself to bring things up. You can do this in a lighthearted and productive way! It doesn’t have to be the famous “We need to talk” line because, let’s face it, that’s just scary.
You can bring things up by saying, “Hey, I’ve been thinking about something and I wanted to explore it with you.” When you dive into the convo, make sure you hear your partner out and encourage them to share. Ask him or her questions! This is one of the things we forget to do the most often, despite how important it is! The more someone talks about themselves, the more heard and understood they feel! One of the secrets of Napoleon Hill’s book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is that people have a deep desire to talk about themselves. Sometimes you have to coax it out of them, but they yearn to talk about their interests, their feelings, their desires… and when you give them the opportunity to talk about themselves, they’ll consider you a friend. I should mention that you do, of course, have to be genuinely interested in what your partner is saying to you.
There is no better way to connect with someone than to let them talk about their interests, and you can bring this aspect into your marriage by encouraging your partner to tell you about their passions, hobbies, thoughts and feelings.
Respect when there is silence in my marriage
This one is a no-brainer. If you want to stop the silence in your marriage and open communication, you have to speak to each other with respect. If you find that this is challenging for you and you’ve been having a hard time talking to each other in a productive way, I highly recommend reading this mega article we’ve created on communication.
It’s important to speak to each other with respect, respect the things that each of you cares about, and work together towards common goals that you both care about. A common life project cannot happen unless both of you feel respected. A very common issue that I find in my one on one coaching sessions is that one or both people involved simply do not feel respected. So I encourage you to pay close attention to the element of respect in your marriage because it plays a big role in communication. Very often, there is silence in marriage because one person doesn’t feel respected enough to be heard and understood.
Accountability is crucial. Both of you need to be able to acknowledge your faults and take accountability for your wrongs. Humility is such an important element of a healthy relationship, and healthy communication.
Working with us to heal the silence in your marriage
As always, we are here to help you through any challenge that you are facing in your relationships. If you would like to work with me or a member or my team, all you have to do is click here. Together we can analyze your specific situation and define the most effective action plan so that your marriage can finally thrive!
Remember, it’s all about cultivating a space in which both of you feel safe to express yourselves so that you can have calm and productive conversations about the issues at hand. I know that it may seem daunting at first, but the fact that you’re on this website reading this article already means that you are ready to be proactive and breathe new life into your marriage!
I sincerely wish you all the best in life and love.
You coach when you’re dealing with silence in marriage,