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Do You Struggle with Effective Communication in Your Marriage?

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A couple's communication pattern can often determine the success of a relationship. Good communication enhances your relationship in various ways: 

●     Couples can discuss and resolve their concerns more positively and effectively instead of stewing over negative feelings.

●     It helps with intimacy by using mutual give-and-take when sharing things about yourself and listening to the other person, fostering connection and allowing it to grow and deepen. 

●      It resolves and reduces conflict by discussing your problems openly and honestly; it helps you to resolve arguments and disagreements more readily rather than getting caught up in misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and emotional strife. 

 Other factors, including how much you interact as a couple, the personality characteristics of each partner, and stressors, all play a part in determining how satisfied people feel in their relationship. Research suggests that communicating well isn't a guarantee for a happy relationship. Research indicates that good communication skills enhance relationships and well-being in many ways.  Effective communication is a way to foster a supportive marriage. By actively listening and responding to your partner (and vice versa), you are more likely to feel valued and cared for.

Recognize the Impact of Poor Communication

If you and your partner struggle with communication, consider talking to a professional for advice and tips on coping. Poor communication leads to money problems because it is hard to plan a budget together without discussing it. When there is no communication, there is no way to compromise. If you have barriers to your communication that you as a couple are unable to overcome, it may result in making wrong assumptions, and you become emotionally distant, and your sex life will suffer. You and your partner may seek others to fill the void. A marriage with little communication shows neglect and can become stagnant.

Causes of Communication Breakdown

Couples often have difficulty communicating about subjects that may cause arguments, like; finances, household chores, trust, jealousy, parenting styles, intimacy, spending time together, and tidiness. If the argument still needs to be resolved and drags on for weeks or months, the communication rut often leads to a breakdown. Criticism, contempt, stonewalling, or defensiveness become frequent if communication breaks down, and an unwillingness to find a path forward may occur.

Signs of Communication Problems

●     Avoid assumptions about your partner's thoughts or feelings and minimize or avoid criticizing one another. Engaging in passive-aggressive behaviors or behaviors that seems harmless but indirectly displays unconscious aggressive motives is toxic.

●     A neutral approach, with neither offense or defense, will help to hear and evaluate your partner's point of view and try to reach a compromise to avoid having the same arguments repeatedly.

●     Stonewalling or intentionally shutting down during an argument to avoid problems, also known as silent treatment, can be hurtful, frustrating, and harmful to the relationship. Difficulty talking to your partner is a sign of communication problems, and you may need more help from a therapist for tips and advice on coping.

Strategies for Enhancing Communication

The key to effective communication in a marriage is listening.

Factors involved in active listening can include:

●     tone of voice

●     one way to avoid misinterpretations of tone is with written communication (through text, for instance)

●     body language

●     using gentle touch

●     silence to reflect or listen.

Couples need to learn how to do reflective listening, which involves actively listening to what a person says and reflecting and repeating their statements to them. This type of listening helps your partner feel heard and understood, building their self-esteem, and fostering positive social and emotional feelings between you. It helps to clarify your partner's feelings, needs, and expectations so they feel understood, heard, and valued.

 You can foster competent marital communication with effort. If you approach conversations by avoiding thinking you are right about something and being clear and direct, it will help keep the peace in your relationship. You have a right to your thoughts and feelings but remember that a conversation should not be a battleground where you must prove yourself right. Talk about your thoughts, feelings, and ideas, and listen to your partner's thoughts, feelings, and ideas with interest. Be cautious about misinterpreting relationship messages, so it pays to clarify the content of your messages to have clear communications.

Avoiding communication or silence is a type of communication that can send a negative, hurtful message. We can learn new behaviors if we are willing to put in time and effort. If we lower our ego and pride and realize it takes time to make changes, we can improve communication with our partners.

If you and your partner struggle to communicate, Marriage In a Box may be an option for learning new communication and listening skills, suggestions on avoiding pitfalls, and available coaching. Consider using Marriage In a Box for help in your new journey to help heal your relationship.

Marriage In a Box is an excellent resource that provides access to the simple tools and techniques professionals use for relationship issues. You can set goals, earn rewards, and find marriage coaching on the site. Check out the available kit and sources of information online.

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