Relationships, be it personal or professional, cannot survive without a proper flow of communication between person or persons involved.
Communication plays a significant role in all relationships, and marriages are no different. To have effective communication in any relationship, especially marriage, it is essential to imbibe those basic communication skills for couples and implement them in your marriage.
It is noted that the absence of proper communication between spouses has compelled the partners to drift away from one another gradually. Experts say that communication is the key to a robust and healthy relationship and sparks feelings of caring, giving, loving, sharing, and affirming between partners.
Learning how to communicate effectively with your partner requires a proper understanding of the term ‘communication’, itself.
What is communication?
Communication is how two people connect.
Developing effective communication skills for couples have been instrumental in bringing the partners close to one another. Over the years, proper communication has drawn couples to stay close to one another, interact and express feelings and emotions freely.
This is why a lack of basic communication skills can be so detrimental. Fortunately, developing effective communication skills for couples is very easy, which is why everyone should take the initiative to improve theirs.
Below are a few helpful communication tips for couples to facilitate effective communication in marriage.
Basic communication skills for couples
1. Pay full attention to what your partner says
One of the key factors to help couples learn how to improve communication in marriage is to deal with the lack of attention retention witnessed in spouses. The very first thing you need to do is turn off or put down any distracting devices like laptops or mobile phones.
Use your body language to your advantage like leaning towards your partner a little bit and send across a message of connection towards her.
Giving your unhindered attention to your partner is definitely one of the best communication skills for couples if they plan to improve their marriage.
2. Stop and listen
Improving communication skills in marriage has a lot to do with listening. Listening is a communication skill everyone should master. During a conversation, it is so easy to get wrapped up in what you have to say.
When that happens, many fail to process what their spouse is saying which can create a disconnect over time.
3. Take note of your communication style
Have you ever witnessed a couple talking? Some people are naturally loquacious, whereas few others can rarely make a point without raising their voices. It is essential for the partners to understand how their better halves communicate.
For example – if both the partners have similar problems like raising their voices to put across their points, one of them has to lower their voice during a conversation.
Also, one of the key communication skills for couples entail strict avoidance of confrontational words and incessant comments at all cost.
4. Develop non-verbal skills
Effective communication skills for couples also, includes non-verbal communication, as mentioned earlier.
Bodies have a language of their own and being able to read non-verbal signals boosts couples communication skills and strengthens relationships. It allows partners to know what each other is saying without uttering a word.
For example, folded arms indicate defensiveness, steady eye contact shows interest while a neutral body stance, pointing in your direction, is welcoming and displays receptiveness.
5. Keep a tab of the negative non-verbal cues
Do you know that communication is 7% verbal only and 93% non-verbal? Out of which 55% of non-verbal communication is picked up by body language, and the remaining 38% is taken up by the tone of voice.
Experts say, humans, consciously or sub-consciously, do non-verbal communication more than verbal. In fact, during communication between couples, non-verbal cues are used to convey a more meaningful message to the observer than the words were spoken. And by non-verbal cues, we mean gestures, hand movements, postures, eye movements, facial expressions, and so on.
It is important for couples to pay attention to their non-verbal gestures while communicating with their partners. Often, their non-verbal cues convey a different message than what they are trying to say verbally.
For example –
If the husband is trying to discuss an important matter with his wife, but she is more interested in watching the content on the television and reply to his queries in monosyllables, then the husband will feel that the television content is more important for his wife than what he has to say.
Unknowingly, she has demonstrated her disinterest in what her husband was trying to say during the conversation.
So, it is imperative to gain an understanding of non-verbal cues, which is an integral part of developing excellent communication skills for couples.
6. Be honest
Honesty is another one on the list of communication skills for couples to make any relationship a success.
Marriage requires opening up your heart and life to another person and following through on that requires honesty. In order to improve couples communication, both partners have to be honest about their emotions, thoughts, and feelings.
Of course, this means displaying some vulnerability, but it also allows a marriage to reach its full potential.
7. Be playful
It is important to be playful and humorous in a relationship.
Lightening up a conversation makes even serious discussions more comfortable. An indicator of a successful marriage is being able to share a few laughs when needed. Taking things too seriously often creates tension between spouses. And no one likes tension.
Tough discussions and conflicting viewpoints are part of married life, but a little playful humor puts things in perspective and eases frustrations.
How to work on communication skills?
Couples therapy exercises for communication can help in developing healthy communication skills between the partners.
Couples communication exercises start by asking the pairs to be –
- Active listeners, first
- Talk about your emotions freely
- Use of more positive body language
- Taking a trip together
- Have occasional dinner dates, and so on.
No one can teach you the best communication skills for couples. It is entirely upto you and your partner, how you can bring about some minor changes in your marriage, make a few adjustments here and there, and start again like new lovers.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
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.