The difference between a happy and an unhappy marriage lies in communication skills.
Lack of communication sometimes results in silent treatment, bitterness, anger, and resentment. Once these overwhelm a partner, it negatively projects to defiant behaviors and inability to maintain a mature talk for conflict resolution. Marriage counselors advise partners to openly share their negative and positive feelings to maintain peace in marriage.
Good 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, your unstable mind results in shouting and yelling.
Here are a few tips for couples to develop proper communication skills –
1. Listen carefully and respond where appropriate
Proper communication needs the total participation of both parties.
Allow a partner to talk as you actively listen to all the accusations, appreciation and concerns. You may not be in agreement with all the issues, but empathize with a wailing sound “I feel your disappointment in my action, but do you realize that…….” It is not a defense mechanism, it gives a reassurance to your partner that you take into account their concern but you also have your opposing 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 expression, and the tone of your voice properly so as to avoid giving wrong suggestions to your partner.
This is one of the key communication skill 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? The right tone manifests with a stable mind to face the situation with maturity. 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
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 of a police interrogation and not for open fruitful communication.
6. Use first person reference
As you seek answers, be part of the question, For example, when you want to have an open chat on your partner’s cheating errands “I feel you cheat because I don’t give you enough attention” it 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 collective responsibility.
7. Maintain calmness as you balance your emotions
A proper communication strategy is to stay calm the entire time you speak with your partner even if you realize more hurtful arguments in the course of the discussion. The calmness gives you self-control to get into the deeper understanding of the situation and at the same time, leads your partner to clear the hurt feelings and move for 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; at least your partner must have positive attributes, otherwise, you could opt for a divorce rather than communication. Everyone needs appreciation and positive compliments to soften the heart to sincerity and openness- a parameter for a successful communication.
9. Admit the influence of your spouse
The society demands the male gender to have control over the female gender. This is a bad practice. Work together to let this thought not hamper your peaceful communication process.
As you seek to have good communication skills with your spouse, take into account the environment, the 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 is definitely one of the important chapters of life that each partner needs to memorize once they sign the papers and say ‘I do’ to each other.