In my years of training and being in my private practice I have realized that communication is key to having a healthy, happy relationship.
I am not saying that you will have a perfect relationship, to my knowledge there is no such thing. I do believe, however, that it is imperative to having a fulfilling relationship.
Being able to communicate is easier said than done, it takes practice.
Sometimes it is hard to state what our needs are to others. Whether it is out of fear, insecurities, low-self esteem or not wanting a confrontation.
Whatever the reason you can always learn the steps to effective couples communication and it can even be fun!
Start listening to your body. Your body feels the emotion long before the mind does. If you are having an interaction with your partner and you get a strange feeling in your gut chances are they said or did something that did not sit well with you.
This is the time to communicate that to your partner. The key to communication in relationships is finding surprising ways to communicate better with your partner.
Let me give some examples on how can we communicate better or ways to improve communication in relationships.
Let’s say your partner has a habit of saying they are going to get something done but it never seems to happen.
This absolutely drives you crazy, you harbor anger and your reaction may even be passive-aggressive instead of addressing the problem head-on with healthy communication.
An example may be, your husband keeps saying he is going to clean out the gutters on the house. Three months go by, the gutters really need to be cleaned out at this point, he is still talking about it yet it hasn’t gotten done.
You can say to him, “Darling I appreciate the fact that you are willing to clean out the gutters. They do need to be cleaned.
However, you have been talking about doing this for months now and it has not gotten done. It frustrates me when you say you are going to do something and it does not happen.
How about in the future if you say you are going to do something you put a time on it? This way I won’t get my expectations up only to be disappointed that it hasn’t gotten done and I won’t stew in my frustration. How does this sound to you?”
When you are practicing healthy communication you don’t want to put the other person on the defensive.
Once someone becomes defensive their walls go up and they stop listening. You want to make sure you are not blaming or shaming. You always want to come from a place of love with an open heart.
Relationships are not always easy and communication takes work for most. However, once you practice it over and over it will begin to come naturally. Your communication will just flow between you and your partner.
Life is a wonderful journey, especially with someone you love. Start using your newfound communication tools and here’s to a healthy, happy relationship!
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.
More by Kirsten Louise Cantley