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How to Improve Communication within a Marriage

Improve communication within a marriage

Studies indicate that happily married couples often cite communication as the leading reason of why their marriage is successful.  Effective communication can help to significantly reduce fighting and avoid a great deal of conflicts, altogether.  Here are some ways to improve communication with your partner:

Clarify

Clarification can be one of the most important parts of the communication process. People often do not take the time to make sure they’re hearing their partner, correctly, during conversation, and may report “nodding yes” even though they’re unsure of what their partner is asking of them. Taking the time to make sure you truly understand each other can be a key part of successful communication. Asking following up questions to your partner’s requests can be a great habit to get into to prevent misunderstandings. What may seem tedious during the communication process can end up saving time and misunderstanding in the long run.  

Abstain from the profane

Research shows that using profanity can prolong and worsen the severity of arguments.  Studies  also show that people often report increased anxiety when being “cursed at”.  Elevated anxiety is known to lead to heightened arguments between two people.  Avoiding offensive language, therefore, can be a great way to keep things calm, light, and respectful.   Provocative language is often seen as disrespectful and can often worsen communication, so avoiding this language, altogether can be a great habit to get into.  Even if you feel angry or frustrated with your partner, words are likely to be more effective if they lack profane language.  Profane language is more likely to seem aggressive and, therefore, might not be as well-received.

Establish ground rules

Delicate topics such as past relationships or past mistakes are often brought up during arguments.  Taking the time to communicate with your partner about what topics make you uncomfortable can be a great way to improve communication with your partner, overall.  If your spouse continually brings up topics that make you uncomfortable and that you feel are irrelevant to your current life together, it might be worth mentioning to your partner so that you don’t have to worry about these topics coming up, at all.  Establishing ground rules, together, can be a great way to make sure you both do not enter arguments with your partner, in fear, and that the collective aim is to problem-solve during arguments, rather than to merely fight.  

  VERIFIED EXPERT
Denise Limongello, LMSW, is a passionate and dedicated therapist who obtained her graduate degree from Columbia University, School of Social Work. She is also a graduate of Miss Porter’s School and Tulane University. Denise began her clinical career at The Renfrew Center of New York and has since then worked across all levels of care including Inpatient, Partial Hospitalization, Intensive Outpatient, and Outpatient, Private Practice settings.

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