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Communication In A Marriage [Why and How]


Marriage is a beautiful thing. Somehow, in this crazy world, two people find each other and love each other and want to commit to spending the rest of their lives together! Marriage is inspiring and wonderful. But it is also heartbreaking when you feel it start to go wrong. Marriage is worth fighting for. There is no relationship more important than your marriage – and nothing in the world that can make your life happier or more challenging. As someone who has been married for 18 years, I understand that married life is not always perfect. It is important to know that good communication is one of the most important factors in a marriage and that better communication leads to happier married couples. You can improve your communication in a marriage and build a stronger and happier marriage.

Improve Communication In Marriage

Communication Will Help Improve Your Love Connection In Marriage

Whether you already have a healthy marriage that you just want to keep strong or if you know that you have problem areas and you need help addressing them, one of the best ways is to keep learning and growing together.  Inspiration can come from looking at successful marriage tips, reading books on marriage such as The Five Love Languages, or even just scheduling time for date night activities. Communication and conversation are key to marriages that last.

Prioritize Your Marriage

Never say you are too busy, or you can’t make time for your spouse. You have to have priorities and making your marriage last should be a number 1 priority. Why? Because it affects your wellbeing and that of your family in ways that are so enormous it is hard to fathom until you experience a crack in your relationship. It is always easier to keep something up through maintenance than to fix something that has broken. Make it impossible to come up with any excuses for not to improving communication in your marriage!

Assess Your Marriage

Try to objectively assess the strengths and challenges in your marriage and identify a few areas to work on.  Talk with your spouse about your desire to improve communication and share together what you think is working well and what needs improvement. Prioritize together and focus on one or two Marriage Success Factors you both want to improve. If you have communication problems, look for tools and resources to help you both see new points of views and learn new things. Try communication exercises. There are books, blogs, podcasts, find what works for you.  Avoid placing blame and work toward improving together.

Create A Marriage Action Plan

When you have assessed your marriage and chosen one or two marriage success factors to focus on together, come up with a list of specific actions you can take to work on improvement. You can use these behavioral steps & daily practices to cultivate new, healthier and happier patterns together in the areas you feel you most need to improve will go a long way towards keeping your marriage growing. Sometimes even just remembering your priorities is an important part of the process and can help increase feeling of empathy, respect, and romance.

You may need to schedule time for focused dialogue with your spouse on certain topics. Stay accountable together to ensure you make progress to improve communication in marriage and build together a stronger, more fulfilling marital relationship.  Any positive movement from one party can facilitate positive movement from the other.

Nurture Your Marriage

Marriage is a wonderful thing that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Marriage needs nurturing and you have to work on ways to strengthen your marriage. Intimate relationships require you to constantly be feeding in quality time, proper attention, and positive feelings. If you are not doing that, there is a good chance that you need to do some marriage work.

I have been in the position myself where my marriage needed improvement and where we struggled on how to achieve that. Keep working at it, with a counselor if you need to, because marriage takes effort. That is normal.  Everything worth anything takes effort. The importance of communication in marriage should never be overlooked.

How To Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It

I bet you were surprised to see this one considering this post is all about communication for marriage, but I know it is what many of you really want to do. Just make it better. My answer to that is yes, you can do things to improve your marriage without talking about it. In fact, you should!

I can put this as simplistically as, be nice. What?! Yes, you heard me. Be nicer. Come on, really, of course your sex life sucks if you are icing your partner out and withdrawing your emotional love and support. Of course, your partner is hurt and withdrawn if you are always critical. Now, you are thinking, yes but I am mad or hurt! Well, that is generally why improving communication helps us get past our current divide first. You do the option though of setting aside the past and doing nice things as a way to reconnect, if you can hack it. And I mean doing lots of nice things and treating them nicely, enough times in a row that they can see this isn’t some kind of trap and begin to respond lovingly themselves. Talking suddenly sounds appealing, right?!

There are many types of communication, so other ways of not talking be through physical affection. Maybe your partner will respond well to this and open up. Or they may be angry and want to achieve conflict resolution first. Either way, it opens the door.

However, my suggestion is that you do these things in conjunction with improving communication because I am guessing your marriage relationship probably needs both. They will work together to get your marriage back on track and keep it there.

imperfect people

How To Improve Communication In Marriage

1. Be a Good Listener

Being a good listener is one of the most important things we can to improve communication within marriage. When your spouse is talking about their day, something that interests them, or something they’re concerned about, be a focused listener. Effective listening requires you to pay attention to their tone of voice and body language as well as their words. it will provide a deeper insight into how they’re really feeling. Ask appropriate questions to let them know you’re listening and you care. Repeat back what you are hearing them say. Feeling like they are heard will make them feel like they matter to you. And, it will make them a better listener when it’s your turn to share.

Let your spouse know that you’re paying attention by making eye contact when they’re speaking to you. This lets them know they’re heard. This will also allow you to observe their facial expressions and be more in tune with their feelings on a deeper level. Use touch, reflective feedback, and body language to show them you’re listening. Smiles, head tilts, nods, and raised eyebrows are all signs of active listening. This nonverbal communication allows you to communicate your attention without interrupting what they’re saying.

2. Leave Love Notes

Leaving a note of encouragement or inspiration for your spouse will let them know you’re thinking of them. It can be as simple as “Have a great day!” “Good luck with your presentation today!” “I’m looking forward to our date night on Friday!” or “I enjoyed our quiet time together last night, thank you for listening to me.” Imagine how good it would make you feel to get a note like this from your sweetie. Writing your own love note may just encourage them to do the same.  Part of improving communication in the marriage has to do with expressing appreciation and gratitude for our partner and not taking them for granted. Love notes are a great way to do this.

3. Put Down the Phone

Are you often distracted with social media, emails, and text messages while your spouse is talking to you? Make a decision to always put down the phone and pay attention to your spouse when they’re trying to communicate. Let them know that they are more important to you than anything else that’s going on around you. And keeping the phone down will create more communication opportunities; you’ll be more likely to talk to each other when you don’t have the phone in your hands. Create device-free times in your house; times of the day when phones or other devices are not allowed. This goes for the television as well. Even as background noise, the TV can be a distraction from communication. This one small tip will improve communication in marriage so much!

4. Communicate Feelings And Needs

Your partner can’t read your mind and it isn’t fair to expect them to. You need to share your feelings and needs. Do this without blaming your partner but still asking clearly for what you want. If you need advice on how to do this, you can find detailed scripts for how to communicate your needs. The main thing is approach your partner at a good time and share how you are feeling and ask for a specific solution. For example, “You have been really busy with work lately and I have been feeling a little lonely and sad. I really want to reconnect. Can we do a date night on Friday?”

Also, talk about your dreams. Talk about your thoughts on whatever may unite you. Meaningful conversations go along way toward strengthening your marital bonds and maintaining a healthy relationship. Being a better communicator will help you both look at things in a more positive way.

5. Avoid Single Word Responses

Continued single word responses are a classic way of shutting someone down. This almost goes beyond lack of communication and comes dangerously close to communicating you don’t value what they are saying. Health communication requires knowing when to listen and when to respond. When it is your turn to respond be sure to match your partner’s attention to the conversation. Put yourself in their shoes and make an emotional connection.

Often times we use grunts and simple one-word answers to respond to what people are saying when we’re only partially listening. Show your spouse that you’re really paying attention by responding with a full sentence reply. If they’re asking you to do something, repeat back what they asked in your own words so they know you heard and understood their request. Using full sentences to respond or ask questions shows that you’re really listening. This is an important part of improving communication in marriage. Don’t just respond with words and logic. Make sure to communicate your feelings and acknowledge theirs.

Communication In Marriage Quotes

Here are a few successful marriage quotes to help motivate you in your quest for a happy marriage.

“We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.” -John Lennon

“I’m not telling you it is going to be easy- I am telling you it is going to be worth it.” – Art Williams

“The perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.”

“Communication to a relationship is like oxygen is to life. Without it, it dies.” – Tony A. Gaskins Jr.

“Conflict avoidance is not the hallmark of a good relationship. On the contrary, it is a symptom of serious problems and poor communication.” – Harriet B. Braiker

Conclusion

It is OK if you have marriage issues. Most people do have marital conflicts. When I asked my grandmother (who was married for over 60 years) for marriage advice, she told me, “Sometimes, it’s work.” Well, it didn’t sound that romantic at the time but it does ring true to me now. Sometimes marriage will take work, but so does anything worth having!

If you know you have developed bad communication patterns, I suggest a marriage counsellor. The book, Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations For A Lifetime Of Love, is also really great for addressing these demon dialogues as Dr. Sue Johnson calls them.

marriage and keeping the magic alive

I hope you keep working to improve communication in marriage because that is really the foundation for a happy, satisfying marriage with love and romance. Moree effective communication skills are essential to a better relationship. What are your favorite communication in marriage quotes?

Related Posts:

How To Make Time for Your Spouse

How To Keep A Marriage Strong While Raising Children



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