Two Ways to Improve Communication With Your Spouse
Communication is one of the most vital aspects of an intimate relationship. When communication breaks down or becomes almost non-existent, this big signal that something is wrong in the marriage. 50% of couples that divorced claimed it was due to the inability to communicate with each other. What are the 2 big culprits?
- When something happens, you assume you know the reason.
You and your spouse had plans to meet at that wonderful Italian restaurant near his office for dinner. He arrives late and you feel angry and disappointed. You assume that meeting you didn’t mean much to him or that something else was more important and sit in silence through the entire dinner.
What really happened?
You bought into your assumption instead of asking that he didn’t care enough about you to be on time for dinner rather than ask him calmly what delayed him. Traffic could have been bad, an important meeting at the office could have run longer than expected, or any number of things. Asking why he was delayed allows him the chance to explain things.
You did not communicate your feelings. Your spouse cannot read your mind and will not know what is bothering you if you do not calmly explain. “ I am annoyed that you were late because I was really looking forward to spending time with you tonight and I feel like you may not have been looking forward to spending time with me.” Expressing your feelings allows him the chance to understand why you are annoyed and make it right.
You did not make a clear request. In the future, if you are not going to be able to arrive at the agreed upon time, please excuse yourself and call me to let me know so I don’t worry.
Neither one of you spends time listening to the other.
Deep, positive relationships can only be developed by listening to each other. If there is no communication in your relationship, maybe neither spouse is truly listening.
Here are the most common listening mistakes:
- Daydreaming or thinking of something else (even something as simple as your list of groceries) while another person is speaking;
- Thinking of what to say next;
- Judging what the other person is saying;
- Listening with a specific goal/outcome in mind.
At last twice a week, try this listening exercise together.
One spouse gets 10 minutes to talk about their day, while the other spouse listens actively and with a genuine interest. The other spouse can ask questions to clarify but cannot interrupt the first spouse.
After 10 minutes), the other spouse gets to talk for ten minutes about their day as well, while the same listening rules apply to the first spouse.
You will be surprise at how much you learn about each other. Watch the quality of your relationship and your communication improve. It is an intentional way to practice active listening to each other.Download Our Worksheet And Discover Your Top Relational Desires!