How to Communicate with Your Spouse

Many couples struggle to communicate well. They don't know how to talk about problems or subjects they disagree about without getting in an argument or fight. Yet, improving communication in your marriage doesn't have to be rocket science. Try these simple tips to make your most important relationship work better than ever.

Couple arguing with hands raised in anger

FIVE TOP COMMUNICATION TIPS

1. Improve your friendship

Rebuilding a close friendship with your spouse is the single most important step you can take to improve communication and marital satisfaction. Good communication depends on a close bond between the two spouses. Closeness makes it easier to talk about sensitive things. Spouses who are best friends have more fun and repair tiffs more quickly. Friendship flames the fires of passion! So work on getting to know each other again, and being close. Do the things best friends do, and your relationship will grow.

Remember, a close friendship is the key to the kingdom!

2. Rebuild Trust

It takes time to rebuild trust, once there has been a serious breech of trust, or a long history of disconnection.

By doing what you say you're going to do, by putting your spouse first and by always being honest with your spouse, you can bring trust back into your relationship.

Show your spouse that you can be trusted. Give him/her no reason not to trust you. Give it time and slowly but surely you and your spouse will be able to trust each other again.

Remember to tell the truth. Lies and deceptions dissolve trust. If there's one person in this world with whom you must be honest it is your husband or wife.

3. Accept responsibility for your emotions

The pink elephant in the room is often anger. Everyone's afraid of a quick temper, and the fear and foreboding it generates stops genuine communication in its tracks.

What happens if you get angry and have a meltdown? You actually fail to communicate. You express contempt. You put your partner down. You close the door on the fondness and good will in your relationship by making hurtful remarks. In other words, you've turned away from your spouse and missed an opportunity to strengthen your friendship! And you've created mistrust. Who is foolish enough to trust an angry, unpredictable temper? Remember, if you get angry and do something inappropriate, it's your fault . . . not your spouse's. You decide how to respond to any given situation.

If you begin to get angry and upset, terminate the conversation. It won't be constructive because you won't be able to remain rational. And when you start yelling, your partner will shut down anyway. Your chance to communicate will be lost.

4. Focus on your strengths, positives and hidden assets

Instead of focusing on your relationship's shortcomings, and your partner's faults, train your attention on the assets and positive qualities. Express gratitude for the good things your spouse does. Instead of waiting for your partner to make a mistake, call attention to his/her good points. Forget the mistakes. Why keep score?

Watch carefully and catch your spouse doing something good. Then let them know you caught them. Do it often. If your partner does one good deed out of ten, focus on the one good deed, the exception to the rule. Catch him/her being exceptional.That's an effective way to communicate.

Watch how you talk to yourself about the relationship. Place faith in the relationship. Remember, positive self-talk helps you to remain focused on success. You'll view the relationship in a more optimistic fashion . . .

and you'll be able to see the amazing potential of your relationship!

5. Censor yourself.

When I work with couples, I often feel amazed at the things spouses say to each other when trying to communicate. Sadly, the use of critical and condescending language creates anger and shame, and drives a wedge between the two spouses. Speak to your spouse in an upbeat and empowering way, and avoid the use of criticism and blame. Remember, criticism is a double-edged sword! A good rule of thumb is to speak to your spouse the way you did when you first met . . . show respect, kindness and patience. That's how to communicate!

If you are tempted to throw a dart, think twice. Darts are dangerous! And if you hit your spouse with a dart, isn't it like being hit yourself?

In Sum

Anyone can use these five top tips to communicate more effectively and make their marriage better. Recognize the strengths of your relationship. Improve your friendship, be yourself and stay away from criticism, which only passes judgement and places blame. Try these simple tips for making your marriage stronger, and you'll be rewarded by a relationship that flourishes as the years pass, and makes you a stronger, healthier person.

Frustrated couple talking, and she is turning away and tuning him out

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