Four Tips For Stronger Communication In Your Marriage

Communication is the center of a healthy relationship. However, sometimes communication doesn't go as well as you'd hope. Working with your partner, you can utilize these tips to help communication go more smoothly.

Use Appropriate Statements

When there's a conflict in a marriage, it can be easy for the discussion to become heated. While there will always be some conflict in a relationship, you can diminish how heated the conflict becomes by avoiding "you" statements. Using "you" statements such as, "You always forget to take out the trash," can come across as accusatory to your partner. This may instantly put your partner on the defensive and lead to conflict.

Instead of using "you" statements, practice using "I" statements. For example, try saying something along the lines of, "I feel frustrated when the trash isn't taken out." Speaking this way does two things: It allows you to take ownership of your feelings and it doesn't immediately cast blame on your partner. It also helps to open a constructive dialogue between you and your spouse.

"I" statements can be especially useful when talking about your feelings and needs with your partner.

Talk About Changes

Changes can cause stress in a marriage, so it's important to discuss them. Many couples treat major discussions as if they're a holiday – they only come around once a year. Changes cause a range of emotions at any different stage during the change. A new job, move, diet, or child are all examples of changes that bring stress to a relationship.

Talking about a change regularly during and after can help both parties discuss any concerns as they come up. This helps you to avoid large arguments and to help you and your partner feel heard.

Don't Assume

Sometimes partners take for granted that their partners are on the same page as they are. This can lead to frustration and heated conversations. Reaching out and talking to your partner when you have an expectation is key to successful communication. When you make your expectations clear, your spouse will know what's expected of them.

For example, if you expect your partner to pick up a specific item at the store, make sure they know the exact brand you're hoping for. This helps to reduce confusion in the relationship.

Sometimes You Need Help

Sometimes communication in a marriage can get off the rails. If you find you and your spouse need help with communicating more calmly, you should reach out to a marriage counselor. Your marriage counselor can identify specific behavior patterns between you and your spouse that may be derailing your communication.