Ever felt like something in your marriage was a little off? Maybe you and your partner just weren’t connecting the way you should and you knew you both could do so much better. Well, the truth is, you can. The very first step toward doing better is recognizing something is wrong. When couples aren’t on the same page it sometimes has a lot to do with communication.
Pinpointing the challenges that relate to communication can be difficult for some couples. Usually, at least one partner struggles with recognizing that their style of communication may be ineffective for their partner. Even though a couple may disagree about a number of things, it most often leads back to how they talk to one another.
If you’re wondering if your marriage needs better communication here are 5 signs that let you know for sure and what you can do about it.
1. If nothing seems to ever get resolved with your disagreements.
A couple who continues to argue about the same things without a resolution in sight definitely needs better communication. It often means someone isn’t listening or someone isn’t expressing themselves clearly.
You can improve by setting rules of engagement with your partner. Prior to having a heart to heart with your spouse, determine what goes and what doesn’t. A few examples include promising to listen without interrupting or being solution focused instead of finger pointing. Establishing communication rules will help to keep both partners on track.
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2. If you’re not talking as much as you used to.
Couples need to communicate. There is just too much that happens in life and within a relationship that needs to be discussed. How you feel, what you need and why must be shared with your partner. A couple whose marriage has gone silent will need to figure out why, because silence is no good for a marriage. How will you know where your partner is mentally if you aren’t talking like you used to?
You can improve in this area by starting small and then building back up to how you used to communicate. Asking how your spouse’s day was or what made them smile that day is a good beginning.
3. If the opposite of what’s being said is being done.
If you or your spouse are saying one thing and doing something different, there is possibly a disconnect in your communication. One thing we all have that people come to trust is our word. When it isn’t clear or doesn’t match our actions it affects our reputation and the amount of trust people will put into us, spouse included. Couples must be careful with their words and make sure they can support them.
You can improve by being clear and honest in your communication. It’s okay to say you don’t know, or to even ask for time to figure things out. Being truthful and doing what you say you will do will benefit your marriage significantly.
4. If you’re more frustrated after the conversation and every little thing turns into a bigger out of control thing.
Your marriage needs better communication and more understanding if every little thing is a trigger for you and your spouse. It may seem as though you’ve lost patience with one another.
You can get it back by remembering the love you have for your spouse. Also using a technique called the power of the pause. It’s used at my job and reminds people of how much power there is in pausing during a disagreement. When you pause, you can determine why you’re so upset and also reconsider your actions in order to get the positive response you’re seeking before you respond negatively.
5. If you’re not clarifying, acknowledging or validating…something’s wrong.
In order for communication to improve in your relationship you have to be willing to do all of these things. Clarifying helps you to be sure you’ve heard what you’ve heard. It’s important that you and your spouse are on the same page. Acknowledging what your spouse is saying and how they feel will help them feel safe about opening up. Validating it, even if you don’t understand shows compassion. It’s okay to say “I totally understand why you may feel this way.” That statement doesn’t make anyone right or wrong, it simply shows you understand their position. These are key ingredients to better communication and they work.
It’s good to be aware of the communication in your marriage, whether it’s good or needs work. Paying attention to these signs and taking immediate action when you’re off track will make all the difference in the overall health of your marriage.
BMWK, what are other signs that your marriage needs better communication?
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