Married couples find all sorts of challenges during their marriage. One of the most prevalent is keeping communication open and effective between the two spouses. Not all couples have an easy time relating to each other. Some may find that they need to go to couples therapy to solve these issues and other ones that they may have. The following are some simple tips on improving communication that couples can try at home.
1. Each partner must practice actively listening. This may sound cliché, but it is an important part of effective communication in a marriage. A spouse should not just pretend to hear his or her partner’s words but instead repeat back the essence of what the other is saying, and then confirming that this is in fact what their partner is trying to convey. Validating a spouse can be simple when this approach is taken. Let your partner know that you genuinely honor their voice.
2. Spouses need to accept the fact that they will disagree on things on occasion. No two people agree on every subject 100 percent of the time. A spouse should not feel offended if his or her partner disagrees with him or her. Instead, the spouse needs to listen to his or her partner’s opinion on the subject. The partner could have a valid reason for feeling the way he or she does on the topic. Ask yourself, would you like to be right, or happy?
3. A spouse needs to make sure to keep the connection to his or her partner strong. When the partner and spouse feel this connection, their communication is easier than if one of the partners feels left out or ignored. Spouses need to show their appreciation for each other on a daily basis to keep the connection solid.
4. Couples should have special times to talk set aside each week. The world today is full of these distractions and there is no way to talk with them on or present. Spouses need to make sure all of these distractions are off including the TV. They need just to sit and talk about daily activities, topics of interest, or certain problems happening at the time.
5. Couples need to keep any problems in communicating within the marriage. They should not broadcast them on the social networks or triangulate through a third party. This may get back to the other spouse and be counterproductive to having an effective conversation with him or her.
6. Couples should have a central point in the house to post schedules and special notes. These could be reminders of something spoke about earlier in a conversation. This makes it each person’s responsibility to inform the other one through this message area.
Should Seek out Counseling
When couples cannot solve their own issues, they need to reach out for help through marriage counseling. If the spouses try the six things listed above, and either of them still feels they are not communicating together, effectively as a couple, this counseling will provide a supervised place for both to work on their problems. The counselor will mediate when necessary.
A counselor will schedule various sessions together with both the spouses to provide expert advice on how each one can improve the communication in their marriage. Sometimes he or she will meet with each spouse individually also to discover why he or she has this problem to begin with so the counselor knows how to proceed with counseling.
However, couples therapy only is effective when both spouses are committed to improving their communication. Both must be willing to follow the advice of the therapist. Each marriage is unique. There is no one cure for ineffective communication. The counselor must design each session according to each couple’s situation and needs. Couples should not fear going to this counseling as it may enrich their marriage.