The difference between a happy and an unhappy marriage lies in the competence to communicate.
Healthy communication skills for couples is one of the essential elements of a successful marriage.
On the other hand, a lack of communication between couples can result in the silent treatment, bitterness, anger, and resentment.
Once these overwhelm a partner, it negatively projects to defiant behaviors and an inability to maintain the basic elements of communication for conflict resolution.
Marriage counselors advise partners to openly share their negative and positive feelings to maintain peace in the marriage.
Good and effective communication skills for couples involve listening, responding, explaining, understanding in a calm tone in an appropriate place and manner.
Never resort to solve a problem with emotions, as your unstable mind may urge you to shout and yell. But enhancing your marriage communication skills or couples’ communication skills is easier said than done.
From competing with each other, being critical, stonewalling, and unforgiveness, to attain effective communication for couples, you have to avoid a lot of pitfalls.
So to help you acquire the basic communication skills for couples or learn new communication techniques for couples, here are a few tips for couples to develop proper communication skills in marriage:
1. Listen carefully and respond appropriately
Proper communication needs the total participation of both parties.
One of the vital communication tips for couples would be to allow your partner to talk as you actively listen to all the complaints, appreciations, and concerns.
You may not be in agreement with all the issues, but empathize with a wailing sound or statement such as “I feel your disappointment in my action, but do you realize that…….”
It is not a defense mechanism; it gives reassurance to your partner that you take into account their concern, but you also have your opinion or point of view.
You attract their attention for an open discussion to draw a conclusive solution.
2. Evade personal reproach
Avoid any form of personal criticism through insults, inappropriate body language, shouting, and yelling.
You may have a point, but the way you communicate has an effect on the way your partner conceives the information.
Personal reproach prompts your partner to take a personal defense strategy inhibiting your communication process.
Often, personal reproach works as a catalyst leading to heated arguments between partners.
You need to guide your body language, facial expressions, and the tone of your voice properly so as to avoid giving wrong suggestions to your partner.
This is one of the key communication skills for couples to develop if they want peaceful discussions every time.
3. Understand one another
Seek your partner to listen to you without judging you. Psychologists recommend appreciation first in a bid to drive a point home.
A partner will feel valued despite some of his/her weaknesses. Naturally, the relationship dynamics tend to work better when you put yourself in your partner’s shoes as you seek their attention for a fruitful communication process.
4. Use the right tone
Are all of you emotionally stable when getting into a discussion? A quarrel regarding a sensitive issue can turn into a disaster only because you failed to use the right tone.
Couples communicating with maturity use the appropriate tone manifested with a stable mind to face the situation.
Never get the attention of your spouse in anger; you are bound to raise your voice leading to a complete shutdown of the communication channel.
An effective tone gives you the gift of humility and politeness, guiding your choice of words and further calms your partner to join in the discussion humbly.
5. Seek explanations
Another communication skill for couples to practice is asking fact-finding questions or seeking explanations from their partner. This skill enables couples to understand each other better rather than making assumptions.
You are both responsible for the control of the discussion. The use of open-ended questions rather than closed questions gives room to your partner for sharing insights and thoughts on the situation.
Closed questions are more often used during a police interrogation and not for open fruitful communication.
6. Use the first-person reference
As you seek answers, be part of the question, For example, when you want to have an open chat about your partner avoiding their errands:
“I feel you sidestep your responsibilities because I don’t give you enough attention.”
Now, this may not be the situation, but the fact that you acknowledge being part of the problem even if you are not, gives your spouse a challenge to own up and accept the situation as a collective responsibility.
7. Maintain calmness and balance your emotions
A proper communication strategy for couples is to stay calm the entire time you speak with your partner even if you realize the argument is becoming more hurtful during the course of the discussion.
The calmness gives you self-control to get a deeper understanding of the situation and, at the same time, helps your partner to vent the hurt feelings and move forward to a solution.
The best time to communicate is when you have cooled down, and you are in control of your emotions.
8. Appreciate your partner
Communication, which is full of blames and negative thoughts, can never be fruitful. Your partner must have positive attributes. Otherwise, you could opt for a divorce rather than communication, appreciate those attributes.
Everyone needs appreciation and positive compliments to soften the heart to sincerity and openness- a parameter for successful communication.
9. Admit the influence of your spouse
A bad relationship communication practice is when one partner dominates or has control over the other.
Work together to alleviate your relationship from such traditions and do not let this hamper your peaceful communication process.
As you seek to have good communication skills with your spouse, take into account the environment, emotional stability, and the willingness to open up for a talk.
In addition, your partner must have prior knowledge of the reason for the meeting. Avoid the mention of any past experiences.
Communication skills for couples are definitely one of the important chapters of life that each partner needs to memorize once they say ‘I do’ to each other.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.